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Nursing homes reporting a sharp decline in staffing

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:53 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Nursing homes across the country are reporting a sharp decline in staffing at the start of 2022.

A new study from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living shows 75% of nursing homes believe closures are possible before the end of the year.

“We have seen closures throughout this pandemic, because of the hardships that it’s created. Now if they’re lucky, there may be another nursing home in town that has a bed, in the worst-case scenario they will have to go far away from their families, just to find a nursing home that has an opening,” says Rachel Monger, the Vice President of Leading Age Kansas.

Monger shares a grim outlook on nursing homes in 2022. Three nursing homes in Kansas recently closed because of staffing shortages.

“They have no choice but to close and send those residents elsewhere. And as we know, with all of the staffing shortages, the other nursing homes in their area probably don’t have the staff to take them and so it causes a huge amount of suffering and danger to nursing home residents can’t have the staff that we need,” Monger said.

Governor Laura Kelly issued a disaster declaration recently that allows nursing homes to hire temporary workers to help with staffing shortages.

However, the disaster declaration expires on January 21st, and it’s unclear if lawmakers will extend the emergency order.

“We don’t get emergency how and the flexibilities we need to bring in more staff and shore up that resident care. Two things will happen. One, we run the danger of many nursing home residents not getting the kind of care and having the kind of safety that they need and that they deserve to we are going to see even more closures of nursing homes because if they can’t take care of the residents safely, then they have no choice but to close,” Monger said.

Leading Age Kansas is officially asking lawmakers to extend the order.

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