One of the biggest challenges plaguing senior housing providers since the pandemic is hiring and retaining staff. According to a recent survey by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, 25 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has declined in light of the pandemic, with many reporting a loss of qualified CNAs and direct caregivers.

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is a big reason why the senior living industry - and many other industries - are facing a labor crisis. Much of the workforce challenges facing senior housing are that frontline workers are under more pressure than ever before the pandemic. While development may be experiencing a resurgence, facilities just don't have the staffing to keep up with rising occupancy and trends like intergenerational living.

Top Trends Impacting Workforce Concerns 

Frontline workers have yet to get a break since the pandemic started, leading to burnout and an emerging mental health crisis. Some of the other trends impacting the assisted living workforce include:

  • Increased turnover

  • Higher rates of absenteeism

  • Mental health crisis affecting workers

  • Low vaccination numbers amongst staff

  • Lower motivation and job satisfaction

  • Inability to work when scheduled

  • Worker burnout

  • Pressure from other industries incentivizing healthcare workers to change industries

  • Excess labor costs

  • Not enough staff to meet regulatory and compliance requirements

Its necessary providers take a proactive approach to manage staff and invest in worker well-being to combat the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

We know that caregivers and other staff are the backbones of senior living, but the mental, physical, and emotional stress these workers have faced over the last year and a half should not be overlooked.

 As we've discussed in the past, operators are taking a new approach to wellness and embracing an integrated care model that supports the active adult. But to make this transition a smooth one that supports this new type of resident, communities need the right staff in place. In addition to making wellness a priority, providers should consider the following tips for preventing turnover:

  • Consider flexible scheduling

  • Embrace tech and automate, when possible

  • Offer additional support to staff members

  • Leverage tactics that engage and support workers

  • Clear communication

To learn more about how the labor shortage affects investment opportunities in senior housing, or if you are looking to sell a property, don't hesitate to contact the senior housing experts at Sherman & Roylance.