“To say the sector has been hard hit has been an understatement. It’s now a more dangerous place to work, and people understand that. I’m not surprised people are worried about going into nursing homes,” said Anne Montgomery, co-director of the program to improve elder care at Altarum, a not-for-profit health research and consulting organization.
Yet demand continues to climb. Despite more potential residents choosing home care during the pandemic, the aging population in the U.S. and a pent-up demand for rehabilitation after postponed elective surgeries create a need for staff that nursing homes just can’t fill. Some are even halting hospital admissions because they don’t have the staff to care for more residents.
“Really, we just have a great demand, an incredible demand in this workforce,” Montgomery said. Long-term care is one of the top three industries in terms of projected growth, she said.
“The jobs are certainly available,”