It was hard to predict that the labor challenges we are experiencing was going to get this bad. It's the number one issue that senior living operators are describing to us, and it's distracting us from what matters most; providing best-in-class senior care.
There are a number of factors that are contributing to the labor shortage issue in the senior living industry. Some of the key factors include:
An aging workforce: As the senior population continues to grow, many senior care workers are themselves reaching retirement age. This is reducing the pool of available workers and making it more difficult for facilities to find and retain qualified staff.
Increased competition for workers: The senior care industry is facing increased competition for workers from other industries, such as healthcare and hospitality. This is making it more difficult for senior living facilities to attract and retain workers, and is contributing to the labor shortage.
Attractiveness of other industries: Some workers may be drawn to other industries that offer higher wages, better benefits, or more opportunities for advancement. This can make it difficult for senior living facilities to compete for workers and can contribute to the labor shortage.
Perceived lack of job security: Some workers may be hesitant to enter the senior care industry due to concerns about job security. The senior care industry can be subject to fluctuations in demand, and some workers may be hesitant to enter the field if they are unsure of their long-term prospects.
Perceived lack of support and resources: Some workers may be hesitant to enter the senior care industry if they feel that they will not be supported and provided with the necessary resources to do their job effectively. This can be a particular concern for workers who are new to the field and may not have the necessary training or experience.
Overall, the labor shortage issue in the senior living industry is caused by a combination of factors, including an aging workforce, increased competition for workers, and a perceived lack of job security and support.
To address the labor shortage issue in the senior living industry, there are a number of steps that facilities and policymakers can take. Some potential solutions include:
Providing training and career development opportunities: Many workers may be more likely to enter and stay in the senior care industry if they are provided with training and career development opportunities. This can include providing on-the-job training, offering opportunities for advancement, and providing support for workers to pursue additional education and certification.
Offering competitive wages and benefits: Many workers may be more likely to enter and stay in the senior care industry if they are offered competitive wages and benefits. This can include offering competitive salaries and benefits packages, as well as providing support for workers to achieve a work-life balance.
Improving the reputation of the senior care industry: Some workers may be hesitant to enter the senior care industry due to negative perceptions of the field. To address this issue, facilities and policymakers can work to improve the reputation of the senior care industry by highlighting the positive aspects of the field, such as the opportunity to provide compassionate and supportive care to seniors.
Increasing support and resources for workers: Some workers may be hesitant to enter the senior care industry if they feel that they will not be supported and provided with the necessary resources to do their job effectively. To address this issue, facilities and policymakers can work to increase support and resources for workers, such as providing additional training, support, and resources to help workers do their job effectively.
Working with policymakers to address workforce challenges: To address the labor shortage issue in the senior living industry, facilities and policymakers can work together to develop policies and programs that support the senior care workforce. This can include initiatives to promote training and career development, to support workers in achieving a work-life balance, and to provide support and resources to help workers do their job effectively.
As we evolved Resident Views over the years, we took your feedback on your pain with the labour shortage and created an offering that focuses on employee retention. Our tools will get insights from your employees and distill the output in a way to provide impactful solutions to encourage a healthy working environment. When your employees feel heard, they become more engaged in helping operators come up with creative solutions that will end in them wanting to continue to work with you.
Unfortunately, the labor shortage isn't a short-term issue. Those operators who proactively engage with their staff will mitigate the risks that lead to poor care for our seniors. Actions like those described above need to be prioritized to ensure we're doing great work and elevating the senior care experience for all.
Editor at Resident Views