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New Low in Severe Senior Living Staffing Shortages a Possible ‘Glimmer of Relief’

The senior living labor crunch has hit the industry hard in 2022 — but a new National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) survey shows a possible “glimmer of relief” for operators in that regard.

A little fewer than 10% of respondents to the most recent NIC Executive Insights Survey reported “severe” staffing shortages between Sept. 19 and Oct. 16.

The number of operators reporting severe shortages represents the lowest total since the industry association started asking the question in the survey, according to NIC Senior Principal Ryan Brooks.

“While this may represent a promising sign of relief to the longstanding staffing and labor challenges, I don’t want anyone to think that these challenges no longer exist,” Brooks told Senior Housing News.

For the most recent executive insights survey, NIC collected responses from 58 owners and executives in the senior housing and skilled nursing sector. The majority of respondents (37) reported having a portfolio of 10 or fewer properties, while 11 reported a portfolio of between 11 and 25 properties, and 10 said they have at least 26 properties.

Just under three-fourths of the executives who responded said staffing shortages at their communities were “moderate” in the latest survey, an increase from 67% who said the same in the survey conducted between March 7 and April 3.

Even with the slight improvement in conditions, staffing remained a thorn in the side of the responding executives. Respondents said recruiting new staff was cited by79% of respondents as a current challenge, while another 67% said the same about retaining current staff.

Just over a quarter of respondents, 29%, reported that new hires stayed on the job for longer than one month, while just 12% reported that new hires lasted longer than one year.

High expenses are another issue that has persisted into the latter part of 2022.

Ninety percent of respondents reported operator expenses as a challenge, but it’s not just labor that is getting more expensive property and professional liability insurance costs are also continuing to rise.

According to the latest survey, more than 40% of independent living operators said the cost of property insurance has “increased significantly” compared to before the pandemic. Just under a third of assisted living respondents (30%) and a quarter of memory care respondents said the same.

The rising cost of insurance was also reported by executives in the July edition of the survey with 74% of independent living operators reporting that the cost of property insurance premiums had increased since the period before the pandemic.

“Two-fifths of independent living operators report the change in the cost of their property insurance to have increased significantly, followed by nursing care (38%), assisted living (30%), and memory care (25%),” Brooks wrote in the report.

Operators are filling the pressure from rising costs in professional liability insurance, too with more than two-thirds of AL and memory care operators reporting that their premiums have gone up since the pandemic.

Based on comments in the survey, operators believe that ballooning insurance costs are largely attributable to a slew of insurance companies dropping out of their respective marketplaces. This creates a dearth of competition among insurers which leads to higher premiums, according to Brooks.

The post New Low in Severe Senior Living Staffing Shortages a Possible ‘Glimmer of Relief’ appeared first on Senior Housing News.

Source: For the full article please visit Senior Housing News

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