COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio’s nursing homes said they’re facing a staffing shortage that is getting worse every day.
The president of LeadingAge Ohio, a nonprofit association representing approximately 400 long-term care facilities, said there’s a shortage of 15,000 workers in Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The lack of staff is having a ripple effect on the healthcare system: while hospitals are filling beds with COVID-19 patients, some long-term care facilities are keeping beds empty because of the staff shortage.
The issues have caught the attention of lawmakers at the statehouse.
Last month, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that would give more than $300 million to facilities across the state to help recruit new staff and provide incentives for the staff currently on the job.
“It could be recruitment bonuses for that direct care staff or childcare credits, some sort of transportation support, all the issues that might be hindering keeping us fully staffed at this point are ways in which we could be using those funds,” said Kathryn Brod, LeadingAge Ohio president and CEO.
It’s unclear what impact those funds will have yet, but with other states passing similar measures, the demand for nursing home nurses is going to grow.