“Obviously people are living longer and a lot of people are moving to Texas.”
That’s according to Scott Kibbe of the Texas Health Care Association. Too many people are living for too long and then apparently moving to Austin to die surrounded by bloggers and music festivals. The problem with all that is, elderly care facilities in the state aren’t offering competitive wages, and far too many workers are leaving the nursing home for “easier” careers — namely, making sure the fries are done.
“Sometimes they can go down to the drive-through window at McDonald’s or Wendy’s and make more money,” said Southwest Long Term Management’s Julie Sulik.
That’s because Medicaid reimbursement in Texas isn’t fully covering what nursing homes spend on patients, a gap of about $300 million, according to the Texas Health Care Association. When 85% of the people in your facility use Medicaid or Medicare, that means you’re cutting wages to try to stay afloat. And with a physically and emotionally draining job like tending to the elderly, some employees are jumping to jobs that might not pay more than $10 an hour. The annual turnover rate in Texas nursing homes is now 94%.
With a lot of talk of raising the minimum wage, some estimate the number of available nursing professionals for people over 80 is going to drop by half in the next 15 years. Which doesn’t help when you have baby boomers reaching the age where they’re going to have trouble getting to the bathroom by themselves. But it’s hard to imagine that dealing with people kicking the sh*t out of you because the nuggets aren’t done is the better of two options to try and eek out a living.
At least the boomers can’t pull you through a drive thru window by your hair. They don’t have the upper body strength for it anymore. (Downside: having to be on the giving end of a sponge bath.)
(Via Dallas News)