Our long term care providers are being challenged like never before with their current staffing shortage. Staffing is down and there does not appear to be any relief on the horizon.
The reason this is important for older Americans, the caregiver is what allows providers to provide quality care. Nursing home operators and assisted living providers are faced with a serious challenge. Hopefully, our public officials are paying attention. It is time for policymakers and regulatory officials to step up and come to the rescue.
AmsA continues to monitor quality care efforts in many tong term care communities and facilities. According to a recent American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living survey, 94 percent of nursing home operators indicated they experienced a workforce shortage in the last month. Assisted Living communities reported similar numbers with 81 percent of the communities facing staff shortages. Providers are called upon daily to do more with less and are committed to providing the care that families want and expect. However, at some point, if our public officials don't pitch in and help with the staffing shortage, we are going to have to lower our quality care standards. AmSA has been a relentless proponent of quality, affordable care , so that will never happen. In that case, we must get creative and find a way to compensate the long term senior care warriors like they deserve.
The caregiver is a true champion. They didn't acquire the nickname, "Long Term Care Heroes" by accident. They are the ones that make the difference between average and great.
By having excellent caregivers on board, providers experience:
- Higher Productivity
- Better quality of work
- Cost savings
- Fewer accidents
- Less supervision
When these are present, a higher quality of care is delivered giving families the peace of mind knowing their loved one is enjoying a better quality of life.
We are encouraging lawmakers at the state and federal level to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and the long term care profession. Congress and state officials must understand the importance of investing in the long term care workforce and address the significant Medicaid shortfall for nursing homes. We can't expect providers to provide outstanding care for our elders if we aren't willing to pay staff accordingly. If we do. this workforce shortage that we are seeing today will very likely disappear.