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Ohio long-term care facilities struggling to compete amid labor shortage

1 in 5 long-term care facilities dangerously low on PPE, group finds
Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 19:24:14-04

CLEVELAND — Jill Herron, a third-generation nursing home administrator, faces an unpredictable dilemma in the midst of the current labor shortage.

"I never expected this, there’s always been times where you have a few slots we needed to fill, but this is unprecedented," said Herron.

A June 2021 American Health Care Association survey found 94% of nursing home providers experienced staff shortages.

Herron is the owner and administrator of Welcome Nursing Home in Oberlin and said her staffing ebbs and flows.

"Our staffing isn’t where we want it. We’ve been fortunate, we’ve been able to still accommodate and still have good staffing ratios,” said Herron. "But as we admit more residents, which we’re hoping to do, we need a stronger workforce to pull from."

Pete Vanrunkle, Executive Director of the Ohio Healthcare Association, said all 1,100 of his long-term care facilities are juggling the same staffing issue.

"There are concerns that people have about working in an environment in which they could be exposed to COVID even though there is very little of it now in long term care facilities," said Vanrunkle.

Vanrunkle said COVID isn’t the main issue deterring employment, competition is.

Cedar Point for example is offering $20 dollars an hour amid this labor shortage and long term care facilities are trying their best to compete.

"In order to attract anyone in the door, you have to pay better. Facilities are doing that but to accomplish that result they are running loses and that’s not sustainable,” said Vanrunkle. “Eventually It’s going to come back to a point where they will have to shut down."

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