The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on nursing home residents and workers. It caused thousands of workers to leave their jobs, leaving the long-term care facilities to battle with staff shortages and forcing them to reduce the number of patients. One of them is UNC REX Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center of Apex, which had to reduce that number between 30% and 40%.
Staff Shortages Do Not Affect the Level of Care Nursing Home Residents Receive
UNC REX Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center serves people recuperating from a sickness or injury and needing long-term care. Hayley York, the director of nursing at the facility, says that they are trying to fill the gaps by offering several incentive programs for the existing staff and by bringing in people from the hospital or other clinics to help out.
These measures have shown some results, but it isn’t enough to keep the facility running at pre-covid levels, so it had to reduce the number of patients. The facility had to reduce census between 30% to 40% at varying points. Similar problems have been noticed in nursing facilities across North Carolina.
The Situation in Nursing Homes Forces a Lot of People to Take Care of Their Elderly in Their Homes
The current workforce shortages in nursing homes and low census made many people take care of their elderlies by themselves, in their homes. This was easier when most companies had work-from-home ordinances.
However, as the companies slowly bring back their employees to offices, caregivers are placed in a difficult situation. People who have to return to offices and have elderly who need care have to employ professional nurses, buy medical alert systems, GPS trackers for seniors, and other amenities required to improve their safety.