Industries across the board are witnessing a demand for advanced healthcare solutions. Certain sectors, such as the assisted living industry, are also experiencing severe employee shortages.
Because staffing numbers are at an all-time low, employers are being pressed to incentivize potential workers to join the industry.
According to the National Center for Assisted Living, more than 800,000 Americans currently reside in assisted living facilities. Since 2020, over 400,000 assisted living workers have quit the industry, mainly due to stresses brought on by the pandemic. To compound this issue, the percentage of people over the age of 85is likely to double by 2040.
As the need for assisted living services grows and labor shortages continue, we’re going to see an even larger gap between workers and seniors in need of care. Proactive measures must be taken to motivate more workers to join the field.
Soon, we’re also going to see a great demand for above-average health benefits from employers. Here’s how offering flexible and preventative health assessments will help close the worker gap and support the assisted living industry.
Incentivizing Healthcare Workers
It’s clear that there’s a growing need for all kinds of employers and industries to offer preventative healthcare. Preventative health assessments can stop illnesses before they occur, which saves patients money on treatment plans. They also allow workers to stay up to date on their physical and mental health.
In times of economic uncertainty, this provides much-needed peace of mind to employees and incentivizes them to stay with their current employers.
Healthcare and service fields, in particular, would greatly benefit from taking a proactive approach to their benefits. The number of healthcare workers is steadily decreasing. If no action is taken, the gap between assisted living workers and elderly populations needing care will continue to grow.
Seniors deserve fair living conditions just as much as assisted living staff deserve protective healthcare. In order to provide proper care for our elderly population, it’s crucial that more healthcare workers are propelled to join the field.
However, the shortage gaps lead to longer working hours, making potential workers less eager to join the stressful industry.
A solution to this problem is offering healthcare workers above-average healthcare benefits. up to 51% of workers state that healthcare is extremely important compared to other benefits. Workers want to feel supported by their employers and know that their well-being is taken into consideration.
Giving workers access to preventative healthcare is a way for employers to show that they truly appreciate them. Potential employees will be more likely to join companies where they feel their mental and physical health is valued, which will help close the shortage gap.
Reduced Risks of Infections and Outbreaks
Understandably, if not properly maintained, assisted living facilities can become hotspots for general illness, outbreaks, and infections. Given that many elderly individuals have compromised immune systems, it’s vital that extensive precautions are taken to prevent the spread of diseases.
Elderly care facilities were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 2023, there have been 1,607,009 confirmed COVID-19 cases among nursing home staff and 1,606,085 confirmed cases among nursing home residents.
These numbers are almost identical, indicating how easily the virus spread between workers and patients.
The spread of the virus may be uncontrollable to some extent. The seniors in assisted living facilities oftentimes have pre-existing conditions and are more prone to contracting illnesses. Personal protective equipment shortages during the pandemic also exacerbated the spread of the virus.
However, by implementing preemptive measures, facilities can lessen transmission rates. Preventative healthcare assessments would motivate workers to get tested more frequently, reducing the chances of them spreading the disease. They would also have access to the latest versions of vaccines.
When you better protect the staff of facilities, you better protect the residents. Providing preventative healthcare to workers can incentivize them to get regular checkups and stay up to date on their health. This reduces the risk of accidental exposure to potentially fragile or immuno-compromised patients.
Improved Staff Productivity and Efficiency
When staff members feel protected and healthy, it also creates a positive work environment that fosters productivity. Furthermore, when employees are valued, they tend to work with more care and efficiency. This is essential in the assisted living industry, as fragile patients require more tailored and intricate care.
Research has shown that employees who are content and in good health tend to take less time off work due to illness. According to a study, having healthy employees decreases absenteeism by 27%. Companies that provide preventative healthcare also experience a rise in productivity, resulting in improved job satisfaction and employee retention.
On the other hand, without healthcare benefits, employees are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and negative health consequences. In the assisted living industry, long-term care workers state that burnout is one of their main concerns, with health safety concerns as a close second.
Although healthcare employees feel burnt out, many refuse to leave. They know that our seniors depend on them, and they want to be there for them despite the negative consequences.
Assisted living workers are essential in providing care for our elderly, and they deserve to have access to resources that will improve their well-being. Regular, preventative healthcare assessments will ensure that workers can feel health security. Additionally, mental health benefits reduce the risk of burnout for hard-working employees.
It’s Time to Meet Employees’ Needs
The assisted living industry is facing a significant shortage of workers, which is expected to worsen as the demand for care services grows in the coming years. To address this issue, employers need to incentivize more workers to join the industry.
One way to achieve this is by offering healthcare benefits, including flexible and preventative health assessments.
HealthCues specializes in providing above-average healthcare benefits for employees. They offer comprehensive mental wellness programs, ensuring that caregivers are equipped to handle burnout and other concerns related to mental health. They also provide health coaching for the whole family, telemedicine services, and limited-benefit hospitalization plans.
It’s time that assisted living facilities meet the needs of their employees. Companies like HealthCues are key to supporting employees’ health and well-being, along with guaranteeing higher job satisfaction and retention rates.
To learn more about HealthCues can support your business or industry, reach out today.