Demand For Long Term Care High But Providers Can’t Find Workers

( – The demand for long-term care is surging but the difficulty in finding workers for providers has been increasing.

Culix Wibonele was a long-term care worker who was originally from Kenya and spent her time in Atlanta as a certified nursing assistant; she worked with mostly older clients. She helped them with things like cooking, bathing, and daily chores. Wibonele explained that she only got paid nine dollars per hour and had to have a second job as a babysitter in order to make ends meet.

“My paycheck, you know, was literally just nothing. I was kind of shocked, like, the amount of work we (were) expected to do and the pay you get at the end,” Wibonele said.

She is not the only one who feels this way as she represents many people who work in the long-term care workforce. The risk of injury for this job is also high as she explains that she has to lift people who are much bigger than her at times when helping them. The industry needs help but with the demanding nature of the work and little pay, it’s making it difficult to find people to work.

The demand for these workers is increasing as twenty percent of the population is expected to be sixty-five or older by the end of the decade. The shortages and high turnover are expected following a pandemic, but the shortages in this particular labor force haven’t recovered much.

A survey that was done on nursing home providers showed that almost all of them had job openings and a difficulty with filling those openings. Alice Bonner, director of strategic partnerships for the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at Brown University, said that the turnover is so bad within nursing homes that the employees usually leave within a year.

Bonner said, “The people who are left are working much harder, double shifts, overtime, and working with agency and temporary workers.” There are a lot of reasons that people are not working in nursing homes, like the workload, the pay, or better opportunities—nurses make more in a hospital than in a nursing home.

Experts have said that an increased shortage of workers in this industry will continue as the industry grows and more seniors need more help.

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