National Alliance Strengthens Eldercare Workforce

Article excerpt

In November 2008, me American Society on Aging and 28 otíier leading organizations joined together to establish the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) in order to respond to die growing shortage of adequately prepared healthcare professionals, direct-care workers and family caregivers who care for America's older adults.

"The Alliance's goals are aligned with ASA's strategic direction, as ASA's constituency is extremely concerned about workforce shortages and creating new models of care. We want to ensure diat we meet the needs of the many older adults we serve in order to address the demographic imperative of our future," says Robyn Golden, ASA Immediate Past Board Chair and director of older adult programs at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

The EWA was formed in direct response to the Institute of Medicine's groundbreaking 2008 report, which found that due to die rapidly escalating numbers of older adults in the United States, our nation's eldercare workforce is dangerously understaffed and unprepared to care for this population. The Alliance is supported by grants from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the John A. Hartford Foundation and member contributions.

The Alliance, whose member organizations represent older adults and the healthcare professionals, direct-care workers, and family members who care for them, endorses the Retooling the Healthcare Workforce for An Aging America Act of 2009; die Caring for An Aging America Act of 2009; the Geriatrics Loan Forgiveness Act of 2009; the Positive Aging Act of 2009; and the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act). …