Senior care reform is big step to recruiting and retaining experienced and dedicated caregivers

Writing in the Albert Lea Tribune, Katie Davis, campus administrator at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea, recently shared some of the findings from the Long-Term Care Imperative’s 2016 Legislative Survey on the long-term care profession in Minnesota.

In a nutshell, the survey shows Minnesota continues to need more professional caregivers, in large part due to our rapidly growing senior population and the competitive labor market. In fact, the survey finds the number of open nursing and nursing assistant positions grew by 11 percent in 2015. That’s nearly 3,000 open positions.

The survey reports 50 percent of senior care centers in our state suspended admissions last year because they did not have sufficient staff. As an unfortunate result, 4,400 people who required post-acute care or long-term services were affected.

Thanks to the foresight of a group of Minnesota lawmakers last year, our state is taking steps to address this caregiving staff challenge. The changed the reimbursement rate for care facilities, allowing those organizations to better cover the cost of care. At many facilities, this mean pay increases, benefits improvements and more opportunity for career growth for professional caregivers.

You can read more about the real difference these reforms are making in the lives of caregivers, seniors and their families here on FaceAgingMN.org.

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