PHI launches workforce shortage campaign

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) has launched a national education campaign to explore new ways to solve the shortages in the direct care workforce as the number of people needing assistance surges.

The campaign, 60 Caregiver Issues, will strive to introduce 60 new ideas to strengthen the direct care workforce, one every few weeks, to inspire workers, long-term care leaders and policy makers to identify challenges and solutions. The ideas will stem from five main elements: Facts and trends, future impacts in long-term care, job quality, training and worker insights.

“PHI works closely with home care providers and nursing homes around the country,” says PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon in an association announcement. “Today, the number one challenge is finding and keeping direct care workers. There are multiple reasons for this shortage, from insufficient public funding that keeps wages low to poor training that undermines workers’ success and increases turnover, and much more. This campaign represents our best thinking on how to address this shortage from all angles.”

The direct care workforce, where wages are low and turnover is high, is facing severe shortages. Nursing homes have 50,000 vacant direct care positions, and the growing senior population will create the need for 1.1 million additional workers by 2024, leading to “a staggering mismatch between supply and demand,” PHI notes.

The campaign also hopes to deepen the national conversation surrounding paid caregivers, says Robert Espinoza, PHI Vice President of Policy. “We want policymakers, long-term care leaders, consumers, and the public to take this opportunity to learn about the issues, to share their experiences, and to join together to propose solutions that work.”

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Topics: Staffing