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Just 1% of nursing homes and 4% of assisted living communities participating in a recent survey by the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living reported being fully staffed. A total of 1,183 nursing home and assisted living providers nationwide participated.

Additionally, 86% of nursing home and 77% of assisted living providers said their workforce situations have gotten worse over the past three months.

Almost every respondent in both categories reported needing to ask staff members to work overtime or pick up extra shifts, but nursing homes (69%) hired more temporary workers than did assisted living communities (38%) to fill the gap.

At least two-thirds of the respondents in both categories stated that it was “very difficult” to hire new staff. A lack of qualified or interested candidates, as well as the availability of unemployment benefits, were cited as the biggest obstacles to hiring, with 71% or more of nursing home and assisted living operators citing those reasons. State and employer vaccine mandates were cited as obstacles to hiring by less than half of respondents in each category.

Nursing homes were more than twice as likely (58%) than assisted living communities (28%) to have limited new admissions due to staffing shortages, according to the survey.

Widespread workforce shortages have operators concerned about their future in long-term care. Seventy-eight percent of nursing homes and 71% of assisted living communities said they are at least “somewhat concerned” that they may have to shutter their doors. Assisted living operators were more than twice as likely (28%) than nursing home operators (13%) to be “not concerned at all” about the prospect of closing due to staffing shortages.

See more coverage of the survey by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.