Sioux City long-term care facility seeing staffing shortages following pandemic – KTIV Siouxland’s News Channel

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – In assisted living facilities, resident care and comfort is the number one priority.

However, a national staffing shortage in the industry has made it difficult for many of these facilities to hold up to that standard. At the Sunrise Retirement Community in Sioux City, the staff has done their best to hide this issue from their residents.

“Staffing has always been a challenge for us,” said Samantha Roth, CEO and executive director at Sunrise Retirement Community. “We have a lot of great people who step up and help out when needed, so our residents aren’t really seeing the effect of the national staffing crisis.”

Sunrise has a core group of over 30 longtime employees who have worked there for over 15 years. However, a handful of other staff members have recently left Sunrise and even the industry as a whole due to their personal beliefs conflicting with national CDC guidelines.

“We’ve had more people quit because they don’t want to get the vaccine,” said Roth. “We’ve even had nurses leave the industry. And then we also struggle with dietary staff and housekeeping staff because they can go to a hotel or restaurant and not have that same requirement.”

Many retirement communities have added initiatives both to retain current employees and bring in new ones. Sunrise has been no different, adding in dress-up days and providing food for employees, as well as a referral bonus of up to $1,600 if they recruit someone new. New employees can also receive perks such as sign-on bonuses or tuition reimbursement for their nursing certification courses.

Over 49-percent of Iowa long-term care facilities have reported they’re understaffed and 18.5-percent have also reported that they’re in a staffing crisis.

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