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Nine percent of long-term care providers responding to the latest executive survey by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care said they continue to experience “severe” staffing shortages, and 72% said they still are experiencing “moderate” ones.

A total of 58 providers participated in the survey; 79% were from senior living organizations (independent living, assisted living and memory care), 34% were from continuing care retirement communities and 22% were from nursing homes. Responses were collected Sept. 19 to Oct. 16.

The Wave 46 results show that severe staffing shortages are trending downward, NIC Senior Principal Ryan Brooks noted in a blog post about the survey, pointing to Wave 42 results from June, when 20% of participants cited severe staffing shortages, and Wave 39 results from March, when 27% of respondents cited severe staffing shortages.

But the latest results don’t mean that workforce and related challenges are over. Although they “may represent a promising sign of relief, staffing and labor challenges do persist,” Brooks wrote.

“Despite fewer reports of severe staffing shortages, attracting community and caregiving staff is the second most cited challenge operators are facing (79%) followed by staff turnover (67%),” he continued. (The biggest challenge cited in Wave 46 was increasing operating expenses.) “Having to limit admissions due to staffing shortages was also reported by 24% of operators,” Brooks said.

The percentage of participants reporting “minimal” staffing shortages is increasing, from 6% in Wave 39 to 9% in Wave 42 to 19% in Wave 46, he pointed out, noting that the finding represents the highest share of respondents reporting minimal staffing shortages since March, when the question first was asked.

The level of participants reporting moderate staffing shortages remains relatively stable; it was 67% in Wave 39, 71% in Wave 42 and 72% in Wave 46.

When asked what the reason was for the staffing shortages at their organizations, the most frequent response was competition from other industries (25%), followed by an inability to hire nurses (21%), competition from staffing agencies (17%) and an inability to fill nurse aide positions (15%), NIC reported.

See more results here and under “Related Articles,” below.

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