Worker shortages taking a toll on local nursing homes, assisted living communities

DELMARVA – According to a recent study done by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, 221,000 jobs in nursing homes are down since the start of the pandemic.

“I feel like COVID has probably taken its toll and worn out a lot of nurses,” Linda Cornelius, a registered nurse and Executive Director at BayCare Assisted Living said. “I think we are at a drastic time for nurses, there’s not enough nurses.”

The study shows nursing homes and assisted living communities are still experiencing substantial job losses. Locally, the Alice B. Tawes Nursing Home, in Crisfield, said they’re seeing these challenges.

“With COVID-19, we’ve had to adhere to some stricter regulations than we’ve had to in the past, and you know it is wearing on the nurses, everything changes every day and it’s hard, it’s hard to adjust,” Lisa Tull, Nursing Director at Alice B. Tawes Nursing Home, said.

And, staffing shortages can mean fewer people they can help.

“We do have to decrease our census if we don’t have the appropriate number of staff to take care of the residents, thankfully we’re positioned well right now,” Tull said.

Meanwhile, at BayCare Assisted Living they’re having their share of issues as well.  A registered nurse, of 43 years, saying the affects of the pandemic can be mentally draining.

“I do believe that what it has done has caused stress and with that stress has caused the nursing shortage,” Cornelius said.

“They are there for 12 hours, they are away from their family for 12 hours, the residents right now we are being much more careful with because we have a new strain,” Cornelius said.

With these issues at hand, nursing homes like Alice B. Tawes are offering hiring incentives like higher wages and sign-up bonuses. But, all agree it’s important to keep a positive attitude and keep their residents happy as they try to overcome these hurdles.

“They know the people and love the staff, they see them as their family members also,” Cornelius said.

Categories: Local News, Maryland