The turnover rate among direct care staff and the use of temporary employment agencies to fill vacancies in senior living have increased over the past two years, according to survey results released Friday by Ziegler.

Approximately 115 senior living chief financial officers and financial professionals responded to a poll the specialty investment bank conducted in June, with almost 70% of them representing single-site providers.

The average turnover rate for direct care staff at organizations where respondents worked was 36%, ranging from single-digit percentages up to 88%, Ziegler said. A similar survey in 2016 had found an average turnover rate of 30% among senior living organizations.

Sixty-two percent of participants said their companies have used temp agencies to fill vacant direct care staff positions in the past year, compared with 53% in the 2016 survey. The average vacancy rate among direct care staff positions in 2018 was 12%, ranging from 0% to percentages in the low 30s, Ziegler said.

Eighteen percent of respondents said their organizations have had to limit admissions over the past year due to staffing shortages, up from 16% in 2016.

Minimum wage increases have had a moderate to significant negative effect on their companies in 2018, 67% percent of participants said, compared with 57% in 2016.

Common practices used to recruit and retain direct care staff members, according to survey respondents, include sign-on and referral bonuses. Tuition reimbursement, training and scholarships also were popular offerings.

Read more about the survey and its findings on the Ziegler website.