I love my job.No, I really DO love my job, and watching my facility fall apart at the seams is breaking my heart. This is the best place I've ever worked for, a place I'd planned to retire from someday. But in the past six months, it has deteriorated from a facility that couldn't pass a state survey but cared deeply about both residents AND staff, to a building that passed survey with flying colors but has lost its soul.............not to mention a good number of staff members.Yesterday, my assistant handed me her keys and walked off the job at 0930, despite my practically begging her not to throw away 2 1/2 years of good work, as well as losing the ability to use us as a reference in the future. She is not the first to do this; three other staff members have quit without notice in recent months, and I'm afraid she will not be the last. Then yesterday afternoon I received another two-weeks' notice from another extremely reliable aide who's been with us for over a year, and I've gotten the heads-up from still ANOTHER long-term employee that she's going to turn in her two weeks' notice as soon as she finds another job.Now, I've been a manager in long-term care for a number of years, and I know how this industry chews up people and spits them out systematically. These days, anyone who stays at one facility for more than a year or two is a grizzled veteran, so high is the turnover. I know the problem is industry-wide. So why does this bother me so much?It's because our little assisted living facility used to be special. It had a heart and a soul, and many employees stayed for several years because of that. But ever since our "lazy" and "incompetent" administrator left, and we got one who is a go-getter but seems to think people are as disposable as Kleenex, it's all gone to you-know-where in the proverbial bushel basket............and I'm beginning to have second thoughts about staying myself.Oh, it's not that she and I don't get along. In fact, we're good friends, and I can say just about anything to her. The trouble is, she's been there six months and still doesn't know the residents well, knows the staff even less, and doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with that. She dismisses various staff members as "silly young kids with no work ethic" and various residents as "troublemakers". Of course, in a facility our size everybody knows everybody else's business only slightly better than their own, and this stuff gets around. Since I do all of the service plan conferences, I get to hear time and time again how angry and restless the residents are; they confide in me things that really should be taken up with the administrator, but they don't feel comfortable enough with her to do so.Now I hear the residents are planning a sort of revolt---they are going to take their concerns to the VP of Operations, and then up the line to the board of directors. I don't blame them a bit. They're being charged an enormous amount of money for services they aren't getting because we're chronically understaffed, and I'm angry FOR them. Trouble is, I'm the DNS, responsible for staffing as well as quality of care, and having been middle management for some time, I know exactly where the blame is going to land. I've been kicked to the curb before for far less. My job will be on the line, even though neither the staff nor the residents are angry with me---every single staff member we've lost has told me, "It's not you, it's ______ (the administrator who preaches confidentiality and then yells at them in front of other staff and residents)". The residents come by my office to chat, and often they say "Don't YOU ever leave---if you do, I'm moving out".So, I'm at a loss as to what to do. Sure, I could be all wet about my head being on the chopping block, but happy endings usually only happen in the movies.........my experience of things has been rather different. I guess what I'm asking is, should I start planning an exit strategy now, and look for a new job from a position of strength, or do I wait it out and take the chance of being 50 years old and forced to start all over again in a profession that is not kind to older women? It feels a lot like the choice between the lady or the tiger: guess wrong, and you've had it. The heck of it is, I don't WANT to leave, either way..........I love my residents, and I love the fact that I've built a good many connections and friendships through this job. I could go to work at either of the two local nursing homes tomorrow if I wanted---both administrators and DNS's know me well and would hire me in a heartbeat---but I know I don't want to do that again. I keep thinking of the headaches this job creates: the 24/7 phone, the staffing issues, the scheduling, etc. and some days I'd kill to have a job where I could just do my eight hours and go home and not think about work again until my next shift. But then I see in my mind's eye the faces of residents, who trust me with their very lives, and I know I can't just walk away from them.Sorry so long, but I really need some perspectives on this. Thanks in advance for any help you all can offer.