As most states across the country face mounting challenges to provide optimal support to seniors and disabled adults, Michigan is grappling with major hurdles to overcome. One of the problems so many states are facing has to do with an aging population.
The Baby Boomer generation is now retiring and that means there are millions more men and women who are expected to require some level of support and assistance on a potentially daily basis. With more demand, there’s going to be an increased need for these providers.
Unfortunately, in Michigan, as in many other states, attracting and keeping these home care aides and other providers has proven to be difficult. The job is demanding, the pay is relatively low in many cases, and the stress of the job wears people out.
Now, two researchers from Michigan State University have received funding through grants to help find a solution that’s going to work best for the state.
According to Mateus Defaria’s article, MSU receives funding to improve in-home health care in Michigan, published by Michigan Radio:
“Clare Luz, an associate professor in the College, received a $500,000 grant to improve in-home caretaker training and create a certification program for the workforce.
Joan Ilardo, Director of Research Initiatives for the College, received more than $370,000 to improve engagement between families, patients, and healthcare providers in efforts to promote healthier lifestyles and better self-management strategies.”
One of the greatest challenges that the in home care agencies are facing is finding new workers. According to these researchers, there are plenty of agencies actively searching for reliable help, but not enough employees to fill their needs. This leads to some estimates within the state of a 20,000 to 30,000 worker shortage by 2020.
Those numbers are considered significant, and it highlights a more pressing issue. If there are not enough workers to help provide the level of care and support seniors need, then it’s more likely some seniors and disabled adults will not be able to receive that type of support and care.
Luz states that she hopes to develop a caretaker training program that will improve skills and marketability. Helping inspire men and women to want to remain in the industry is one of the keys to helping attract more workers.
Only time will tell if this program will work, but those who are retiring and who may be approaching that age will certainly be hoping that it does.