Staffing shortages spell uncertain future for nursing homes – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Nursing homes across the country are struggling.

Many are facing closures due to staff shortages and higher operating costs due to inflation and the pandemic.

These closures have multiplied in recent years.

But like everything else, the pandemic and staff shortages of the past year are taking things down an uncertain path.

A recent survey by the American Health Care Association highlights these issues. He revealed that more than half of nursing homes in the United States are operating at a financial loss. Many others are struggling to find staff.

And more than 400 nursing homes are expected to close this year across the country.

old age texasa nonprofit that champions elder care communities across the state, said the same issues were mirrored in Texas.

President and CEO George Linial said that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12% of the long-term care workforce disappeared during the pandemic in Texas, which is worse than the national average.

“Without enough staff, places had to close wings to reduce admissions, and that’s having an effect on the whole healthcare system as hospitals typically referred to nursing homes for rehabilitation. And some of them they have been unable to find places for people so they stay in the hospital and that just adds to the cost,” Linial said.

There have been dozens of nursing home closures across the state in the past two years including a few in North Texas. And there is concern for more as the staffing crisis continues.

Currently, there is pressure to increase state funding for nursing homes.

Groups are also pushing for a tuition reimbursement program for those pursuing careers in long-term care.

“We’ve actually introduced this bill twice. In the last two sessions, it’s never really been successful. But we keep pushing for it. And hopefully it will gain traction in the next session. legislative,” Linial said.

Local aged care facilities tell me that retaining people is key.

“There were around 20 retirement homes that closed last year. And several others are kind of on the brink just because they can’t afford the staff salary increases,” Linial said. “About two-thirds of nursing homes have residents on Medicaid. They are therefore dependent on state funding and these public rates have not increased for a long time. So that really strained the system, in terms of how to figure out how to keep staff.

Based in Dallas Manchester care homes and Cambridge Caregivers do everything they can just to do it.

“We have a philosophy: Pay attention to employees who pay attention to you,” said Brian Levy, director of marketing and business development.

Their own CEO recently started pouring money out of his own pocket to cover every employee’s gas.

“We just increased our gas allowance from $25 per child per paycheck to $30 per paycheck. For everyone, anyone full-time, whether you’re the administrator or whether you’re a caregiver or house manager,” Levy said.

Industry leaders say it’s important for families to be aware of what’s going on and ask lots of questions if they have a loved one staying or entering aged care.

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