Who do you think of when I reference “Harry?” If you’re a Millennial or a young Gen X you probably thought of Harry Potter. If you’re from Generation Z you probably thought of Harry Styles. Boomers may think of Prince Harry or Harry and the Hendersons, Gen X may think of Harry Connick Jr.  Much like how all of the generations disagree on the most important pop culture “Harry,” Generation Z (Zoomers) also value and seek after different benefits, perks, and work place environments. As our population is switching from Millennials to Gen Z being the new work force entering their careers, it is important that we adapt to the incoming generation.

Since the pandemic started, the senior care industry has been having shortages of healthcare workers and other staff. Since the beginning of the pandemic, nursing homes have lost around 15% of their total workforce, which is more than any other healthcare setting or industry. These shortages have caused many problems, from closing facilities to not being able to meet the needs of all patients. Many solutions are currently being worked on, and there are many promising paths for the future of senior healthcare workers.

First of all, many initiatives are being implemented to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the senior long-term care industry. As this initiative is rolled out, and the workplace environment improves, long-term care is becoming a more appealing field for qualified healthcare professionals. Having a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace makes recruiting more appealing and also improves the retention of employees. The senior healthcare field benefits greatly from long-term employees, and this is one way to facilitate and ensure that employees want to commit long-term.

Next, long-term care providers are focusing on Generation Z, to encourage the upcoming workforce to go into senior care. “Attracting them, however, requires providers to abandon some of their old habits in favor of more innovative strategies that meet young people on their playing field.” Many organizations have partnered with local schools, creating outreach programs, to bring job information and opportunities directly to the students. Facilities and larger corporations are also working to make senior healthcare more appealing to the younger generation by offering perks like better work-life balance, work-from-home opportunities for administrative work and business office work, better and customized benefits and compensation packages, and the opportunity for growth and advancement.

In conclusion, Harry Potter is the only right answer to the “Harry Question.” Also, the senior care industry is largely understaffed and working to correct this problem. Understaffed facilities are working to improve the quality of their environment by improving inclusivity, diversity, and equity, they’re working to increase their competitiveness with large hospitals by offering better and customized benefits and compensation packages, and they’re working on being more appealing to the upcoming workforce, Generation Z. With all these changes and improvements to the field of long-term senior healthcare, 2023 is projected to be a much smoother year for senior healthcare.