Post-It note with "now hiring" written on it

Fifty-nine percent of assisted living providers responding to a small survey by the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living said that their overall “workforce situation” has declined since 2020.

The survey included 122 assisted living communities. Twenty-five percent of them said that their workforce situation was “much worse” than in 2020, and 34% said it was “somewhat worse.”

Fifty-nine percent of participating assisted living providers reported losing CNAs and direct caregivers during the pandemic, and 57% said they lost dietary staff. Eighty-one percent of assisted living respondents reported facing staffing shortages in the past month.

Three-fourths (75%) of responding assisted living providers reported that higher reimbursement to offer better pay and benefits would help recruit and retain staff members. Forty-eight percent said that improved perceptions of working in the industry or with older adults also would help with recruitment and retention efforts.

AHCA / NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said the survey results “clearly” indicate that the long-term care workforce is facing serious challenges and needs significant investment. The association previously laid out proposals in its Care For Our Seniors Act to enable nursing homes to address staffing shortages, but Parkinson said the industry needs help from Congress and state legislators.

“Caregivers are the backbone of nursing homes and assisted living communities, and we need to make sure they are being adequately supported so they can provide the highest quality of care to our elderly population,” he said. “Lawmakers across the country must prioritize long-term care to ensure the profession has the necessary resources to maintain a strong workforce.”

AHCA / NCAL also surveyed 616 nursing homes about their workforce challenges. For their responses, see sister media brand McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.