Wisconsin faces growing long-term care demands versus dwindling work force

Seven nursing homes in Wisconsin have closed this year, according to the Department of Health Services. In the last five years, 27 have closed.

Demand for places to live is increasing, however. There are more than 90,000 people who live in long-term care facilities in Wisconsin, according to WDJT-Milwaukee.

If the current trend continues, at some point, there won't be enough staff to take care of them.

The Wisconsin Assisted Living Association says more than 10,000 workers left the industry for non-healthcare jobs last year.

"I was taking care of my grandmother for years and decided just to go into this field," said Lydia Sanabria.

She's been a caregiver for 19 years.

"I love my residents," said Sanabria. She's moved up to the ranks to become an assistant manager at Willowgreen Home in Racine.

She says she loves her job but knows the profession isn't without its challenges.

"I have worked and felt over-worked, exhausted, and underpaid," said Lydia Sanabria, Assistant Manager of Willowgreen.

She's not alone. Wisconsin nursing homes and assisted living providers are in the middle of a workforce crisis. 

A 2018 report found 1 in 5 caregiver positions are open with as many as 16,500 vacancies across the state.

Read the full story at WDJT-Milwaukee.

Topics: Leadership , Staffing , Uncategorized