“Crisis of Caregiving” Spurs New Bill to Support Care Workers

A new bill has been proposed that aims to address the ongoing crisis in America’s long-term care industry.

Caregiving Crisis

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There is a caregiving crisis in the United States, and this week a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced a new bill that could directly address the significant shortage of workers in the long-term care industry.

Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act

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The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act was introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, alongside Senators Tim Kaine, Tammy Baldwin, and other legislators.

Much-Needed Care for Workers

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If passed into law, the bill would provide much-needed support to long-term care workers, as well as work to establish long-term care as a sustainable and dependable profession.

An Essential Service

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Across the US, millions of families and individuals with disabilities rely on skilled caregivers, both at home and in assisted care facilities and nursing homes.

No Longer Sustainable

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However long-term caregiving has increasingly become an unsustainable career choice for qualified people, due to long hours, low pay, and unstable working conditions.

PHI Report

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Research from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), a non-profit with a similar goal of improving the long-term care system, sheds a harsh light on the crisis in the industry.

Low Median Wage

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According to data from their 2022 annual report, Direct Care Workers in the United States: Key Facts, caregivers earn a median wage of just $15.43 an hour, and many live in poverty.

Industry Exodus

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As a result, many carers have chosen to leave the industry to pursue higher-paying careers. This has resulted in high turnover rates and an extreme shortage of qualified workers.

Severe Staffing Shortages

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As of 2022, 90% of nursing homes and 70% of assisted living facilities in the US have reported significant staffing shortages, with home and community-based services (HCBS) providers experiencing shortages in all 50 states.

Lack of Support

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“We have a crisis of caregiving in this country, and it’s a crisis that stems largely from a lack of support for and investment in our caregiving workforce,” Sen Casey announced in a public statement on the introduced bill.

Not the Greatest Country in the World

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“We cannot claim to be the greatest country in the world if we do not have the greatest caregiving in the world.” he continued. “We need to invest in these workers not just to ensure that caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career, but to improve the quality and availability of care for all who need it.”

A Strategic Plan

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The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is built around a strategic plan to revitalize the caregiving industry. Its primary aim is to inject the workplace with more professionals who are qualified to give direct care.

Underserved Communities

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It has a focus on underserved and minority communities, prioritizing rural areas and striving to make it easier for women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities to gain qualifications and enter the workforce as caregivers.

Compensation and Work Conditions

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Lawmakers believe that compensation and better working conditions could solve the problem of staff shortages and high turnover rates.

53 Million Unpaid Workers

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The group of legislators introducing the bill believe that if passed through Congress, it could also provide direct support for 53 million family caregivers whose work remains unpaid and largely unrecognized on an institutional level.

Better for Everyone

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Not only would the new bill vastly improve the lives of healthcare workers, but it would directly provide more high-quality long-term care for disabled and elderly individuals.

Organizations Flock to Support

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The bipartisan act has garnered support from a range of organizations across the country, including the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).

“We Owe It to Them”

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“We owe it to caregivers who devote their lives to helping others to invest in the caregiving workforce,” said Senator Baldwin. “Giving these compassionate workers the respect they deserve, attracting fresh talent, and ensuring our loved ones get high-quality care.”

Foundation of the Economy

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“Caregiving is the foundation of our economy,” added Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, who is also supporting the bill. “It allows for all other work to be possible. No care worker should have to live below the poverty line to do this work that millions of Americans depend on.”

Other Related Bills

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It is a necessary next step for the care and healthcare industries, hot on the heels of a recent bill to provide more Medicaid support for home care.

The post – “Crisis of Caregiving” Spurs New Bill to Support Care Workers first appeared on Wealthy Living.

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