With several permanent protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, senior living communities have needed to shift their focus, time and resources. Rightfully so, these new requirements help to ensure that proper health safety measures are in place, enforced and running smoothly. However, the need to implement and track additional policies can mean that other critical tasks in communities such as recruitment, consistently stay on the back burner.
More than 28% of nursing homes had direct care staffing shortages since the beginning of June 2020. Maintaining a full staff is critical to attend to all residents’ needs and to be proactive in health safety measures. It’s also imperative to be targeted in recruitment efforts to ensure new hires match the needs of the facility.
Let’s breakdown the current landscape of senior care facilities and the resources available to help fill the recruitment gap.
COVID-19 Impact on Senior Care Facilities
After being one of the hardest hit communities by COVID-19, senior care facilities implemented several new policies such as testing, screening and contact tracing for residents, staff members and visitor management. They also adopted safer socialization practices such as scheduled dining, small group gatherings and frequent sanitation to maintain a comfortable environment for their residents.
These new policies and practices are many of the reasons why now is a good time to move into a senior living community. It’s more safe and sanitized than ever! In addition, these communities offer the added benefits of health care services on site and easy access to vaccines.
Even with new safety measures in place, senior care facility occupancy has decreased by 6.8% since the first quarter of 2020 due to concerns around COVID-19. Assisted living and independent living occupancy rates have also dropped by 7.4% and 6.2%, respectively, since March of 2020. However, these numbers are expected to drastically increase with the steady vaccine rollout.
All of these changes have added to their already exhaustive workload.
Recruitment Goes Virtual
At a time where focus needs to be on resident health safety, recruitment by department heads falls to the wayside. The only way to truly focus on new protocols is to have a full staff in place that matches the needs of the residents, and to shift the burden of their other responsibilities.
Now more than ever, it’s encouraged to host recruitment efforts virtually, rather than invite candidates onsite, saving time and reducing the chances of unnecessary outside contact. Once the candidate passes through the interview process, guidelines state they can then screen, including COVID testing, or quarantine before starting in person.
Although short and sweet in length, these guidelines take time to implement and enforce. It’s not only important to be fully staffed with the right people, but to also have a dedicated person(s) for recruitment.
ProsperCare Helps Bridge the Recruitment Gap
Where can these facilities turn to find the right balance? ProsperCare helps their clients to fully shift their focus to protecting residents’ health safety. We lift the time and resource burden of the hiring process, while still consistently recruiting qualified candidates, that leads to better retention and more hands to help residents.
While the overall number of senior residents in care facilities is currently down, the resident population is forecasted to greatly increase due to the progressive rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now is the time to prepare for this influx by getting qualified staff in place — and that starts with a hiring partner like ProsperCare.
We understand that in the past year, hiring has been a workload challenge for senior care centers when compared with ensuring the health safety of their residents. Our people-first technology solutions help maintain seamless hiring efforts. Ultimately, we exist to save these communities time, resources and money, while improving retention rates and recruiting top talent to take care of their seniors in need. Now more than ever, we believe it’s critical to invest in solutions to prepare for the coming demand.
- https://www.statista.com/chart/22591/confirmed-weekly-covid-cases-and-deaths-in-us-nursing-homes/ COVID Cases in Senior Living Communities
- https://www.statista.com/statistics/1173436/covid-us-anxiety-depression-by-unpaid-caregiver-status/ COVID impact on unpaid caregivers
- https://www.statista.com/statistics/1139812/changes-in-likelihood-of-pursuing-senior-living-pandemic-us-by-age/ The change of trusting the safety of senior living communities. There needs to be a change.
- https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/archive/MA19p28.shtml Caregiver Burnout ways to help