Nursing homes do not have enough caregivers. Short-staffing affects the quality of care. They do not pay caregivers enough. They do not provide benefits.
Administrators are stuck using temporary caregivers from agencies. However, they often lack the training on specific polices and procedures at the facility. Temporary caregivers have no familiarity with the individual residents. They do not know their likes and dislikes. This all affects the quality of care.
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s (NIC) most recent survey shows the rising use of agency staff. Operators report the highest levels of agency staffing use and overtime pay since the pandemic began. The longstanding staffing problems have continued to worsen.
Between 2017 and 2018, median turnover at U.S. nursing facilities was 94%, according to a study published last month, with even worse churn at properties with the lowest ratings from the federal government.
Facilities struggle to cover shifts despite research proving that better-staffed facilities were able to contain outbreaks when they did occur as compared to their understaffed peers. Experts, advocates, and some operators have increased calls to pay caregivers a living wage to improve the overall quality of nursing homes.