Nursing homes adapt to staffing shortage

Assisted care facilities across Minnesota and the country are experiencing staffing shortages
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:59 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A shortage of workers in the medical care field continues, and that includes in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

“Across the state of Minnesota, all places in one way or another are experiencing some type of staffing issue, it’s just a matter of the magnitude of that,” said Drew Hood of Oak Terrace Assisted Living.

A survey conducted by the National Center for Assisted Living saw 70% of facilities across the country reporting limiting the admission of new residents due to a shortage of staff.

This has created an environment in which facilities have to make difficult decisions as to who to admit to their care...and who to reject.

“We all know that there’s some individuals that just take more time to care for than other individuals. So if you are experiencing a staffing issue, or you even think that you might foresee a staffing issue in the near future, you are going to limit those individuals that you can’t care for,” said Hood.

Oak Terrace Assisted Living in North Mankato reported that they have been fortunate enough to not run into staffing shortages themselves, but that avoiding such a prevalent issue hasn’t been easy.

“Because of some of the reimbursement rates, you are not always able to pay as much as you’d like to, so we find other ways to work with our staff to make sure that we’re treating people as well as we can here,” explained Hood.

Care facilities said that the best thing people can do to help is to simply appreciate the work that is done, often by a short staff.

“Say thank you to your long-term care communities. You know, be it at Oak Terrace or any other nursing home or assisted living, the staff that we have are wonderful, they’re doing their best, we’re honored to care for loved ones, but it can be difficult, so take a moment to thank the individuals that work in this field,” Hood said.

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