Long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania are considering turning new resident admissions away due to ongoing workforce shortages. 

“A direct care workforce shortage means that a state with one of the oldest populations in the country will be unable to meet its obligation to our senior citizens, forcing elderly patients to remain in hospitals, or return home without the resources and support they need,” said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. 

His comments come after a survey by the association revealed that 74% of respondents have had to limit or put admissions on hold within the past six months. Additionally, 50% of providers said they’ve had to create a waitlist for seniors in need of care.

In addition, 20% of operators said they’ve lost nearly 20% of their workforce since February 2020. The survey also revealed that nearly 40% of respondents said they can’t afford to provide care for more than 12 months under current conditions. 

“The workforce crisis in long-term care was a concern long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now we’re seeing the real consequence: Our vulnerable seniors in Pennsylvania are being turned away when seeking care,” Shamberg said. 

The workforce struggles are being felt by operators across the country. In New Hampshire, a state executive said he expects a “fire sale” of nursing homes in the state to happen soon due to the rough operating environment and staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.