Combatting the Senior Care Labor Crunch

“It takes forever for them to finish serving lunch, because there aren’t enough servers.”

“The management team is pitching in to clean our apartments until they get a new housekeeper on board.” 

“They just can’t seem to find or keep enough good help here.”

That’s my 90-year-old mom talking. She and my dad live in a senior care community in central Missouri. It’s new. It’s beautiful. They’re happy. They’re well taken care of. But there’s always one complaint – there’s never enough help.

It’s not an uncommon problem. According to industry experts, the shortage of qualified employees continues to be one of the biggest industry-wide problems for aging services providers.

Consider the following from a new report from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute:

  • Based on projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2016 – 2026 there will be 7.8 million direct care openings.
  • Of those positions, 1.4 million will be created due to industry growth, 3.6 million will result from retirements and 2.8 million will be workers leaving for jobs outside the field.

While it’s not a magic bullet, effective Public Relations can help combat the continuing care crunch. A consistent recruitment and retention campaign – tapping traditional media outlets and social platforms – can help senior communities and in-home care providers:

  • Increase visibility in a crowded marketplace.
  • Position your organization as the employer of choice.
  • Educate potential employees about wages, benefits and other differentiators.
  • Reinforce the human factor – the very real difference aging services professionals make in the lives of the seniors for whom they care.

With a strong share of voice, you will be better able to compete for quality employees and navigate the challenges of continuing labor shortages.