The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has influenced every business sector. Millions of people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19’s effects on the economy. As the world continues to struggle under the grip of the virus, there is a glimmer of hope in the healthcare sector, particularly that of senior care. Many facilities are enjoying a hiring spree, refilling depleted ranks of workers and expanding facility staff for services to accommodate residents in the wake of COVID-19. As one component of nursing home risk management, adequate staffing is responsible for the smooth operation of long-term care and senior living facilities. With sufficient staff, senior centers can continue providing residents with the compassionate care and hospitality they deserve.
Turning Layoffs Around: Hiring Hospitality Workers in Senior Centers
Massive layoffs plagued nearly every industry as COVID-19 spread across the United States. The hospitality sector was especially hard-hit; restaurants and hotels curtailed operations and millions of employees soon found themselves out of work. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as many as 4.8 million workers in the hospitality sector were laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic.
Senior care centers, on the other hand, were poised to expand. The pool of unemployed hospitality workers was just what was needed to staff new senior center developments. Industry leaders reached out to prominent hospitality organizations like the National Restaurant Association to create collaboration; soon, displaced workers obtained new positions in senior center across the country. Workers being sought by senior centers include servers, cooks, janitorial staff, and dishwashers.
Chronic Understaffing, A Factor in Nursing Home Risk Management
The hiring spree within senior centers in the United States is promising, especially because the long-term healthcare sector has long been hamstrung by chronic understaffing. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, as many as 90% of nursing homes and long-term care facilities are understaffed. Remaining workers are asked to do more with less, further compounding the problem and opening the door to increased risk.
Cost is a significant factor in the understaffing of senior centers; many facilities simply cannot afford adequate staff. Another factor is the high burnout rate among caregivers, which puts residents and the facilities themselves at risk of expensive liabilities. As part of nursing home risk management, facility owners are scrambling to recruit qualified staff. The COVID-19 crisis may be a blessing in disguise, however: increased demand related to the coronavirus pandemic for caregiving services at nursing homes has boosted revenue significantly, freeing up funds for new staff members across the board.
As with hospitality workers in the current hiring spree, outreach is proving beneficial. Senior living provider associations are banding together with organizations like the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) to create recruitment initiatives for qualified caregivers like registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and paraprofessionals. Bringing new staff in will bolster nursing home risk management strategies, protecting facilities and residents against common healthcare risks.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.