headshot - LTC Properties Chairman and CEO Wendy Simpson
LTC Properties Chairman and CEO Wendy Simpson

LTC Properties’ operators are struggling to overcome the “very real” staffing problem negatively impacting the entire long-term care industry, according to company leaders. 

“The problem is very real, but our operators are working constantly and creatively to find viable solutions,” Chairman and CEO Wendy Simpson, said during a third-quarter earnings call on Friday. “I have not spoken to an operator yet that has not had trouble finding and retaining qualified employees.” 

The industry has lost more than 380,000 workers since the start of the pandemic, according to federal data.

That shortage has forced operators to turn away residents and patients, according to Simpson. She added that several operators have said that if not for current labor constraints they could have increased occupancy within their facilities. 

“So, [providers] are increasing wages and providing sign-up and retention bonuses to help meet this demand,” she said. 

Despite the challenges, Simpson remained hopeful about the industry’s future. The company also announced it completed $46 million in investments during the quarter — with one deal being a $27 million mortgage loan to purchase a Louisiana skilled nursing facility. LTC owns or holds first mortgages on 177 properties in 27 states with 33 operating partners.

“What I’d most like you to take away from this call is that while the pandemic certainly caused strife in our industry, I believe we are firmly in the midst of a recovery,” Simpson said. “While I cannot predict exactly when we’ll return to pre-pandemic levels of operations, we are seeing continuing signs that give us hope.”

See McKnight’s Senior Living for additional coverage of the earnings call.