Under-staffing in Nursing Homes
Worker shortage for nursing homes has occurred primarily because the rate of elderly people has increased but the rate of people interested in these positions has not. Based on population growth, one could expect these rates to rise and fall in a similar fashion, but this isn’t simply a matter of population growth. Medicine has improved significantly and lifespans are longer, so people who need nursing homes require them for significantly longer periods than past generations did.
Enticing the Next Generation of Nursing Home Worker
The demand for nursing home care is not going to go away. In fact, the industry estimates that the need will continue to grow substantially and that there is no end to that growth in sight. Therefore, the only way to remedy the situation is to make the positions more enticing to the people who can fill them. It speaks volumes that in an economic crunch, where jobs can be hard to come by, under-staffing in nursing homes is such a prevalent problem that has been associated with neglect of nursing home patients.
Why Nursing Homes Jobs are Undesirable
The biggest issue is that the average nursing home job pays less than $12, which is not significantly higher than the average rate provided by jobs that do not even require a high school education. This is simply not enough pay considering that the work is unpleasant, physically difficult and emotionally draining. Furthermore, the industry has injury rates that are in line with dangerous lines of work, such as construction. Most people don’t think of nursing home work as dangerous, but it is.
A Multifaceted Problem
The simple answer is to increase the wage rates. The big problem with this is that nursing home budgets are very tight, and most simply don’t have any additional funds to spare. The other issue is that simply increasing wage rages tends to attract a type of employee that is there simply because of the additional pay. Nursing homes require a special kind of person, or else the elderly who live there suffer. The solution is going to involve decreased workload, a safer work environment and long-term security.