Immigration to Solve Workforce Issues
“It’s a workforce issue, not an immigration issue, and we frame it as a workforce issue.”
–LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan
Occupancy is down because there’s not enough people to take care of people. The 10 largest nonprofit, multi-site senior living organizations were operating nearly 2,000 fewer nursing care beds at the end of 2021, compared with the end of 2020. More recent declines in nursing beds may be linked to staffing shortages, as 18.6% of nursing homes are reporting a shortage of nurses and 19.6% are reporting a shortage of aides
Unsafe staffing shortages negatively impact the quality of care.
Nursing homes and residential care facilities gained another 11,000 jobs in October but it is not enough to provide for the health, safety, and well-being of vulnerable adults in nursing home facilities.
Board chairman Mike King is president and CEO of Volunteers of America. He recently discussed four immigration-related bills in Congress that may alleviate unsafe staffing shortages. LeadingAge is advocating for bills aimed at “trying to create more supply” of workers. For instance, the Ensuring Caregivers for the Aged and Disabled Act would add a new temporary guest worker H-2 Visa Program.