ASA Keeps Workforce Advocacy Front and Center
America will need an additional 3.5 million healthcare workers by 2030 just to maintain current ratios of caregivers to elders. Developing a quality eldercare workforce to serve the burgeoning need cannot wait, which is why ASA will address this issue during the 2012 Aging in America Conference in Washington, D.C., with a half-day National Forum on the subject-the National Forum on Building a Workforce to Care for an Aging Society, to be held Friday, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Based on research and predictions from experts who contributed to the Winter 2010-11 issue of Generations, the program will be led by Robyn I. Stone, guest editor on the issue, and executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Applied Research (Winter Generations was sponsored by the Eldercare Workforce Alliance). The Forum will delve into the implications of this dire need on policy, education and practice, covering new care delivery models, cultural competence, models for education and training and policy implications.
This is the underpinning of the healthcare system. If we don't address the pipeline, the training, the recruitment and ongoing support across all professions, we can't meet our goals.'
In a recent conversation with Aging Today, Stone highlighted three of the biggest workforce issues: first, we lack the numbers of workers needed to implement the ACA's coordinated- and integrated-care provisions; second, we need more training in geriatric psychology to deal with the impending mental health and substance abuse crises among baby boomers; and third, apprenticeship and training programs for direct-care workers dependent upon Medicaid reimbursement have been slashed as states trim their budgets.
Is Washington Working on a Workforce?
Stone said that although those in power in Washington, D. …