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‘I really feel the burnout’: Nursing home and assisted living community face workforce shortage

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:08 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 9:23 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas Health Care Association says before the pandemic they were already facing a significant workforce shortage, so when COVID-19 hit it just made matters worse.

Finding workers is more of a challenge today, than it was a year ago.

They say the biggest issue they are facing is supply and demand.

Facilities are competing with other entities and professions who are able to pay more and they are unable to compete.

Staff are also being overworked and asked to work extra shifts due to this shortage.

“So what you have, is you have staff that are just exhausted, they’re working extra shifts, they’re working doubles day in and day out, they’re working overtime,” said Kevin Warren, President/CEO, Texas Health Care Association.

One Amarillo assisted living worker says she has felt overworked recently.

“I really feel the burnout, I just feel overwhelmed with everything, we’ve been really short staffed and it’s just kind of taken a toll on us because it makes our workload more on us than normal, so its just been hard,” said Tiff West.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living recently released a survey of nursing home and assisted living providers across the U.S.

Some findings show:

  • 86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months.
  • Nearly every nursing home (99 percent) and assisted living facility (96 percent) in the U.S. is facing a staffing shortage. 59 percent of nursing homes and nearly one-third of assisted living providers are experiencing a high level of staffing shortages.
  • More than 7 out of 10 nursing homes and assisted living communities said a lack of qualified candidates and unemployment benefits have been the biggest obstacles in hiring new staff.
  • Due to these shortages, nearly every nursing home and assisted living community is asking staff to work overtime or extra shift.
  • 78 percent of nursing homes and 61 percent of assisted living facilities are concerned workforce challenges might force them to close and more than one-third of nursing homes are very concerned about having to shut down their facility.

The association has been allocated funds from The American Rescue Plan, which is a positive.

“We’re looking to utilize those funds for recruitment bonuses and retention bonuses and keeping the staff that you have onsite and at the same time looking for opportunities to build a long term pipeline,” said Warren.

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