Kansas nursing homes are closing because they can’t find enough workers

September 22, 2022

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas finds itself in a budding nursing home crisis.

A lack of workers and money troubles forced dozens of nursing homes and assisted living centers to close their doors during the pandemic, and more look doomed to follow.

Homes that remain open stand more than twice as likely to see staff shortages as the country overall.

Meanwhile, Kansas falls deeper into a demographic spiral with a fast-aging population and a lack of young people to take care of them. By 2036, the number of Kansans 65 years and older is projected to grow by more than 40%.

Already, 35 long-term care facilities closed or downsized during the pandemic, according to new report by nonprofit aging services providers group LeadingAge Kansas.

The biggest reason, say nursing home operators, is a shortage of staff.

“For every person we hire, it seems like two are leaving,” said Heather Pilkinton, an administrator with Evergreen Community of Johnson County in Olathe.

The nursing home recently closed one fourth of its residential capacity because it couldn’t find enough workers. Pilkinton said that over the past year, around 20 of their 51 certified nursing assistant positions have remained unfilled.

Read the full story from HPPR News here.