The Department of Labor released updated questions and answers regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Saturday, and provided guidance categorizing senior living providers as “health care providers” under the act. The move means operators will be excluded from requirements that certain companies with fewer than 500 workers provide up to 12 days of paid leave for employees who need to care for children due to school closures.
Healthcare organizations around the nation are scrambling to stay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many facilities are finding that adequate staffing — a hurdle in the best of times — has become a monumental challenge.
As COVID-19 spreads, keeping a full staff will be one of the most pressing issues skilled nursing and senior living facilities will face, experts say. That’s because caregivers who come in contact with infected patients are ordered to self-quarantine and are taken off the job, restricting the labor pool even as demand for care grows.
Provider groups were eagerly awaiting guidance that ultimately came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday to help maximize personal protective equipment for those who need it the most in the battle against coronavirus. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also issued recommendations.
Provisions in a multi-billion dollar bill to provide coronavirus-related relief to workers would “significantly curtail our caregiver workforce” and must be addressed, Argentum President and CEO James Balda and American Seniors Housing Association President David Schless said Monday in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
A Washington state senior living operator said it has taken several steps to reinforce a core value of the company, that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, after an employee accused her supervisor of sexual harassment.
As nursing homes, assisted-living centers and other senior living communities across the country work overtime prepping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among its residents and staff, operators are also worrying about how the virus might tax a workforce that’s already understaffed.
Two Nebraska senior living communities are under quarantine, and two others are not allowing visitors “out of an abundance of caution” after the communities’ operator learned that an employee of one of the communities attended a Feb. 29 event at a local YMCA where another attendee became the first confirmed case of coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) in the Cornhusker State.
Labor markets are tight, but data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest a few groups that senior living and care operators might want to court for new workers, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace said Friday.
Recruiting and retaining workers is the No. 1 challenge facing senior living and care operators today. To address this challenge, administrators throughout the nation are looking for ways to further engage employees and assist them in meeting their personal and professional goals.