With the Omicron variant looming as we enter the third year of the pandemic, many things we thought would have normalized long ago are still being seriously affected by COVID and all that it entails. Among those things are nursing homes.
Nursing homes took a hard hit in the height of the pandemic, and sadly, these facilities are still very much in crisis mode. While some aspects of the “new normal” have become much easier to deal with, and seem to be functioning well for us as a society, nursing homes have not been able to recover.
From following the myriad of CDC guidelines, to dealing with the simple stress of the virus itself and the increased potential for exposure, nursing home staff is experiencing massive amounts of stress. Healthcare workers are reporting a variety of healthcare and mental health issues due to the stress of working in the field during the pandemic. The issue has become so pervasive, that 99% of nursing homes are struggling with a staffing shortage and 78% are concerned they may have to close their doors permanently.
Pre-pandemic, nursing home staff were retiring at a faster rate than new recruits were coming in already. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix, but there are things nursing homes can do, such as ensuring safety of their staff, offering stress and mental health support, and offering staff appreciation.