Minnesota’s professional senior caregivers are on the front lines in long-term care, and Matt Pallansch worries there won’t be enough of them.
As President and CEO of MN Signature Care in Little Falls, Pallansch knows that Minnesota is facing a boom in the population of its seniors and a shortage of those who can care for them on a daily basis.
Before entering the long-term care profession, Pallansch spent eight years with McDonald’s Corporation in the Midwest region. Prior to that, he worked in different positions directly in the restaurants, managing three locations for nearly five years.
“Throughout the various roles I had, I found one thing to be true – it takes passionate people and a great team to be successful,” Pallansch says. “I find that continues to be true with long-term care.”
Caregivers at nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state provide a critical voice in the care of seniors, Pallansch says.
“They’re the ones that make that connection with the seniors every single day,” Pallansch says. “They’re the ones that know the ins, the outs, the intricacies of that resident’s personality and their cares. They know the lifelong history of residents and hear their stories every day.”
In the years ahead, the demand for caregivers to support our rapidly growing senior population is only going to increase. In fact, Minnesota will need 25,000 more caregivers over the next decade.
“One of the big concerns that we have as providers right now is the number of available staff that we have for those positions,” Pallansch says.
The solution to a lack of caregivers starts by encouraging young people to pursue careers in long-term care, Pallansch says. “Young individuals considering a career in caregiving can expect it to be rewarding. They have an opportunity to build and create a relationship with those that they provide care for and really get a sense of family when they’re working.”
Caregiving brings meaningful relationships and paves the way for educational opportunities, career advancement opportunities and leadership opportunities.
“How do we continue to recruit?” asks Pallansch. “It really is to make sure employees understand how rewarding the career can be.”