Critical Need for Longterm Health Care Workers
Minnesota is facing a looming longterm health care workforce crisis when it comes to home health and all long-term health services.
Baby Boomers are aging and this has projected an increased need for personal care in the next 10 years that exceeds the number of people entering the field. This could result in there being more patients to one worker than what can realistically be handled. In other words, elder care could suffer due to a diminished workforce.
Need For Longterm Health Care Workers is High
Health care advocates say that it is very difficult to attract quality workers when there is a lack of benefits and low wages. However, the state of Minnesota just passed legislation that calls for raises for health care workers working in home health and other capacities, which may help attract more quality care workers.
Some of the nursing facilities offer home health services due to the rapid increase in the need for such services, which means they are using a lot of resources and have a need for a lot of quality workers as the elderly population increases. For instance, in 2011, there were 27,000 elderly individuals declared eligible for personal care benefits. That’s more than double the number the program provided services to in 2002.
Over the next two decades, the number of Minnesotans 65 and older is expected to increase by 80 percent, which will be over one million people.
Right now, there are 574 agencies that employee more than 88,000 personal care assistance and there are nursing home nurses and assistants that are working with that growing population.
But the low wages have become an issue and, hopefully, the raises will help. Because of the low wages, it is said it is hard to find the right people. Not being able to find the right people can result in poor service. There ends up being a mixture of people who are not qualified and people who are not very good at what they do. For instance, there have been employees that have showed up to work drunk and others who have taken the prescription medications of patients to satisfy their drug addictions. This results in violations of resident rights, abuse, and much more.
Officials want to be able to raise the education, the training, and the pay.
Between October 2011 and October 2012, the state received nearly 2,000 complaints relating to the long-term care of adults. Although the majority was nursing home-related, there were also personal care assistant complaints that the state believes to have been grossly underreported due to a system that is not designed to adequately field those complaints.
Report Abuse and Neglect – Longterm Health and Nursing Homes
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.