Nearly every nursing home in the United States is facing a staffing crisis, according to the American Health Care Association (AHCA).
A survey by AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) of nursing homes throughout the country found 86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living providers reported workforce situations getting worse over the last three months.
Ninety-nine percent of nursing homes and 96% of assisted living facilities reported a staffing shortage. Most said a lack of qualified candidates was leading to the shortage along with unemployment benefits being among the largest obstacles. Over 70% of facilities believed if the challenges continue, they might be forced to shut down.
Staffing shortages have been a concern across the healthcare industry during the pandemic as many hospitals see more patients than staff available to care for them. The shortages have led some states to call in the National Guard to assist the industry. Based on the survey, the staffing shortage is impacting other sectors of the industry.
AHCA/NCAL has proposed measures to combat the shortages in the Care for Our Seniors Act, a bill they are calling on Congress and states to pass. The agencies state if nursing homes and assisted living communities can offer competitive wages and training, then the “workers will follow” according to a statement from AHCA/NCAL.
AHCA/NCAL represents over 14,000 post-acute care providers.