The Struggle with Employee Turnover in Nursing Homes

elderly care

As the years go on, nursing homes are having an increasingly difficult time retaining staff. This leads to a decrease in quality of care for the residents who rely on these aides as well as financial strain for the homes, which also impacts their ability to provide for residents. 

So, what is it that causes these care facilities to have such a high turnover? There are several factors causing this unfortunate trend, some of which can be rectified and others that cannot. Here are the struggles nursing homes face. 

The Country is Getting Older

There will always be an elderly class of citizens, but they’re growing in number at an alarming rate thanks to advances in medical science. Experts estimate that those 65 and older will reach 95 million by 2060, almost double their 49 million in 2016. 

As those numbers increase, so does the need for more staff and facilities. As of now, nursing homes would be unable to provide assisted living services to such an immense amount of people. The issue faced today is too great of a demand on employees, and that issue will only get worse unless Americans flock to this career. 

The Labor Force is Shrinking

Unfortunately, a boom in the number of nursing home employees looks unlikely. Those same experts only expect the number of staff to increase by 14% heading into 2060. That includes all adults aged 18 to 64. 

Businesses are scrambling to find ways to make the job more attractive, but it is still riddled with issues. Aside from the immense demands of the job, competition is fierce and wrongful termination claims are high. Other nursing opportunities offer their employees a tempting way out with aspects including:

  • Stable hours
  • Safer working conditions
  • Increased job quality
  • Higher wages
  • And opportunities for advancement 

The Cost of High Turnover

Turnover rates range from 45 to 66% in nursing homes, with one in four employees actively seeking another job. The cost of replacing a single nursing assistant is estimated at $2,200. So, you can imagine how much the turnover rate is costing nursing homes who need that money to provide better care to their residents. 

Hope in Home Care

Changing policies and the public’s preference has brought about a rise in home care treatment. By 2026, this aspect of the industry will produce roughly one million new jobs. That’s excellent news for the elderly and their loved ones, but it does add to the turnover rate in nursing homes. 

The Fate of Nursing Homes

With no clear solution in sight, it’s tough to tell what the future holds for this industry. This isn’t just a concern for nursing homes, however. It’s something that affects everyone once they reach retirement. While in-home care offers a possible solution, employees in that field are tough to retain as well. 

The industry must come together and work to bring down their turnover rates. Higher wages, better policy, and safer working conditions are vital at this point. If no change is made, then the future of nursing homes and long-term care is at risk.