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Keeping caregivers a challenge in assisted living

March 19, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Overall turnover in assisted living is decreasing, according to a new survey released by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). Among nursing staff positions, keeping non-certified resident caregivers remains a challenge.

Based on data submitted by 580 assisted living communities, the Vacancy, Retention and Turnover Survey [PDF] found that the median turnover rate for assisted living staff in 2013 was 24.2 percent, down from 30.2 percent in 2012. The overall retention rate was 73 percent in 2013 compared with 72.8 percent in 2012.

The fifth annual survey looked at five major job categories and 16 positions within those categories. Nursing staff made up 62 percent of total staff.

Within the nursing category, the survey looked at the positions of director of nursing/wellness and director of resident services, staff registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nurse assistant (CNA), resident caregiver (non-certified), medication aide and other nursing staff. Turnover was 25 percent in nursing, 13.6 among CNAs and 36.4 percent among resident caregivers. Retention was 72 percent among nurses, 75 percent among CNAs and 55.6 percent among resident caregivers.

Other job categories examined were administrative and management (8 percent of staff), food services (16 percent), housekeeping and maintenance (9 percent) and social activities (5 percent).

The Assisted Living Federation of America, LeadingAge and the American Seniors Housing Association collaborated on the study.