ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There is a shortage of beds across hospitals in Monroe County for those seeking emergency care. The county continues to face overflowing emergency departments in its hospitals.

Nursing homes are having to turn away families seeking long-term care causing some of those families to turn to hospitals for help.

Strong Memorial Hospital Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kathy Parrinello said these issues have created a crisis at nursing homes both locally and in the finger lakes region.

Parrinello says coming off from the pandemic, nursing homes have been struggling to hire new staff, mostly due to the labor demands of the workforce.

Because of low staff, any open beds have to be closed, resulting in a lower capacity to operate in.

Parrinello tells News 8 this causes a lot of the beds in hospitals to be filled by patients who are in need of alternative levels of care, and less for those who need to be treated at the hospital.

She says in order to begin to fix these problems, nursing homes should be reimbursed more in order to retain staff.

“We need our nursing homes to be paid at a higher level so that they can hire people at salary rates that make the jobs attractive,” Parrinello said. “Right now, a certified nursing assistant can make the same amount of money working in a fast-food industry or in a department store.”

Parrinello adds that the county has recently issued a grant to help train individuals who may be interested in working in nursing homes. More information can be found.