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NYC-Based Organization Focuses on Solving the Caregiver Crisis

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:45 PM

Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) is a nonprofit organization focused on solving the growing shortage of health care workers. PHI launched its “60 Caregiver Issues” campaign this week to spread awareness to the industry’s need for five million caregivers in the next seven years. Through research, the organization will focus on one of 60 caregiver issues until the end of 2018.

“We found from research at PHI that we will need more than five million direct caregivers in the workforce by 2024,” Robert Espinoza, vice president of policy at PHI, told Home Health Care News. “We are also seeing the supply of workers isn’t meeting the demand. Workers are not taking these jobs for various reasons, like low wages and no benefits.”

The issues are intended to spark public interest and inspire policy makers and long-term care leaders “to pinpoint what needs to be done to remedy the shortage and create a vibrant, sustainable system of long-term care,” according to the campaign’s website.

“The purpose of the campaign is discussing how we can all work together to address the broader crisis—looking at wages as one aspect of that,” Espinoza said. “We are asking how do we better finance and better streamline processes to meet the needs of everyone.”

The Future of Long-Term Care is the issue briefing focused on eight signs that the shortage of paid caregivers is getting worse.

The following signs are included in the brief:
• The population of older adults in the U.S. continues to age, creating a demand for long-term services and supports
• An increase in growth of elders and people with disabilities results in a growing demand for paid caregivers
• Concerns are being raised about the broad appeal of this occupation
• Direct care workers are leaving the occupation, often within a year, unhappy with low wages, marginal benefits and limited opportunities to advance
• The workforce shortage in paid caregivers has the potential to affect areas of the country differently
• Policymakers, long-term care providers and the general public are at a disadvantage with the lack of resources to include data and research on the direct care workforce
• Home care providers and other long-term care entities identify workforce shortage as a top concern for delivering quality care
• The shortage in workers extends beyond long-term care

“We are at a critical juncture where we need to come up with bold ideas to remedy this workforce crisis,” Espinoza told HHCN. “We need to work together to solve this crisis.”

Read the first issue briefing in its entirety.

For the full article, click here.

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