Over the next 20 years, the country will see a surge in the number of older adults who can no longer care for themselves, as will the number of persons diagnosed with dementia. A sizable amount of these two groups are likely to need long-term care services, one being the age 85 and older population — which is expected to double between 2025 and 2040. And a new report from our Midwest neighbors to the north is showing the most grimace future for an ongoing issue we have in Illinois as well. According to a new report based on a survey of long-term care providers in Wisconsin, vacancies for caregivers increased with nearly 1 in 4 openings going unfilled.
“In the future if there continues to be vacancy rates, there may be concerns down the road about the possible closure of some long-term care facilities,” said John Vander Meer, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living.
Summary of Long-Term Caregiver Survey Results
The survey of facilities started in 2016. It is conducted every two years in Wisconsin.
- There was an increase in caregiver vacancies from 19% in 2018 to 23.5% in 2020.
- A continued downward trend in the number of persons on the Wisconsin nurse aide registry.
- Caregiver vacancy rates in excess of 30% for adult family homes, a vital part of the long-term care continuum.
- One in three providers are limiting admissions due to caregiver vacancies.
- Since 2018, inflation has increased by 4% while median wages for direct care workers have been limited to only 2.3% growth.
- The average occupancy of long-term and residential care providers could increase from 78% to 93% if there were enough caregivers to fill available positions.
- Long-term care providers continue to be challenged with a lack of applicants for caregiving positions.
- Nearly 50% of respondents felt they were unable to compete with non-healthcare employers. 1 in 2 said they couldn’t increase wages because of inadequate Medicaid and Family Care reimbursement.
- More than 1 in 3 providers report not getting even a single application for available caregiver positions.
- 70% said there were no qualified applicants for caregiver openings.
- 1 in 3 providers limited admissions in the past year because of staffing vacancies compared with 1 in 4 in 2018, and 1 in 5 in 2016.
More than 30 nursing homes have closed since 2016 in Wisconsin, and another 20 shut their doors in 2019. In Illinois, understaffing (or overworked or underpaid staff) is often the root of many faults in neglected care. Even though the state requires 2.5 hours of direct care for residents each day, about a quarter of the residents in Chicago-area facilities are living in understaffed conditions putting them at risk for abuse and neglect.
Levin & Perconti: Legal Voice for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Illinois
If someone you know has had their rights violated while receiving long-term care services, or were abused or neglected during their recovery stay due to an understaffed workforce, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti want to help. With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, our legal team, located in Chicago, is committed to bringing justice to families whose loved ones have been harmed by others.
Please, contact us now for a FREE consultation at 312-332-2872 in Chicago or toll-free at 1-877-374-1417.
Also read: 8 Questions For Your Next Nursing Home Visit