Bed shortages, open beds in remote areas and finding quality staff to fill openings: these are the major challenges of nursing homes in South Dakota.

Although the South Dakota legislature already nixed the idea of selling extra open beds, another consideration this week by lawmakers could help rural nursing homes recruit staff.

Senator Deb Soholt of Sioux Falls says legislators will have to deal with these issues sooner or later.  Even with nursing homes near larger communities with open beds available, Soholt says another issue has been an obstruction in meeting the need:

How are we going to attract and retrain workforce if we're growing our own?  We have beds, for instance Canton, South Dakota.  We have the beds and not the workforce to take care of the people. So there's just a lot to discuss.

Soholt says changes at the federal level will also have a big impact on long term care in the state.

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