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Senior care must learn to adapt, experts say

August 20, 2018
by I Advance Senior Care
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A tight labor market makes more difficult what was already a challenging task for those in the senior care industry – finding enough staff and employees to fill the numerous openings in the region’s skilled nursing and assisted living campuses, according to Business Journal Daily.

It’s just one of the trends developing within the local market, which is not far off pace from the rest of the country, executives say. New regulations, rising costs and caring for what is an overall sicker and older population define today’s industry as well.

Moreover, seniors are likely to stay in their homes much longer before transitioning to a retirement community, causing many such companies to focus on home health care services first.

“Seniors are aging in place a little longer as a result of home health services,” says Danielle Procopio, corporate director of marketing and communications at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services Inc. “Our response is to hire more staff,” as job opportunities within this segment of the industry increase. “Thankfully, we haven’t had any problems with staffing levels,” she says, but emphasized the organization is always in the market to hire new talent and experienced caregivers.

The longer elderly residents stay in their home, the more likely they’re older before they move into a senior community or skilled nursing facility, Procopio says. In general, those admitted to skilled nursing and assisted living centers have a higher acuity level today, which influences the market and guides how these companies expand their services.

In September, Shepherd of the Valley will break ground on a multifaceted campus in Liberty Township, Procopio says. The $30 million complex includes skilled nursing and rehabilitation, an assisted living component with a memory care wing and independent living apartments. The project is slated for 55 acres along Tibbetts Wick Road and is expected to create 130 jobs, she says.

“We’re really seeing a need for memory care,” Procopio says. Shepherd operates assisted living and skilled nursing campuses in Niles, Poland, Boardman and Howland. The memory care unit planned for Liberty would be the first newly constructed of its kind for Shepherd. The company previously had a memory-care wing in Niles, but the building was no longer equipped to accommodate new regulatory mandates.

Read the full story at Business Journal Daily.