AL salary report shows investments in memory care, proactive wellness

Most salary-based assisted living jobs saw a salary increase of at least 2 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to the latest Assisted Living Salary and Benefits Report, released this week. The top two salary increases were for Wellness Care Coordinators (3.43 percent) and Memory Care Program Directors (3.26 percent)—telltale indicators of the industry’s more proactive approach to wellness and cognitive health.

Another sign of the times is this year’s appearance of new job title—Dementia Personal Care Aide—with an average hourly wage of $11–12.

Directors of Nursing continue to command better salaries with assisted living nonprofits than with for-profits, enjoying the highest salaries along the Atlantic seaboard. By state, the highest salaries for assisted living DONs were in Connecticut and Maryland, while Mississippi and Tennessee had the lowest.

Nearly all (98.5 percent) of the responding assisted living facilities offer their full-time workers a health insurance program. Most use an employer/employee cost-sharing model and require a waiting period of at least 30 days.

Assisted living facilities still struggle with annual turnover rates, although rates have dropped considerably since last year's report. Average turnover rates range from 21 to 38 percent across job categories, compared to the 31 to 48 percent turnover reported in the 2011–2012 report.  Although turnover rates remain highest among RNs and Resident Assistants, the rate for RN turnover has dropped from 39 to 38 percent, while Resident Assistant turnover has dropped from 45.5 percent to 36 percent.

The 15th annual assisted living survey is based on data from 1,900 assisted living facilities, most of whom declared themselves as for-profit. The report is published each year by the Hospital and Healthcare Compensation Service.

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