The Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) hosted a special roundtable discussion last Friday to address the workforce shortages in home care.
According to the AAA7, close to 175 individuals in its 10-county region are currently without a home health aide to provide personal care services to support them and their family caregivers due to a personal care aide workforce shortage in the area. Home health aides provide needed services such as bathing, grooming and other supports that allow individuals receiving long-term care services to remain in their home. The shortage is a theme that is being felt across the entire state with lower pay rates for home care workers also a concern that was shared as part of the workforce shortage conversation.
The AAA7’s 10-county core district includes the following counties: Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
Participating in the discussion were state legislators, state department representatives, consumers and families receiving home care services, care managers of these services, and home care provider agencies. Shared were the real-life experiences of working through the challenges associated with the shortage both from a care recipient and care provider perspective. The opportunity to engage in conversations around solutions to the problem was a key component of the day.
“We are honored that our elected officials, representatives from government agencies, providers, and consumers attended and participated in this Roundtable,” stated Melissa Dever, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7. “It is of utmost importance that we all work together to solve our home care workforce shortage crisis and elevate the perception of home health aide careers and compensate them fairly. As you can see from our local data, without home health aides, we will be unable to maintain individuals at home as their functioning declines. Home health aides are vital to the success of home and community-based services in Ohio and it’s time they are given the level of respect, support and reimbursement they deserve.”
For more information about services offered through the AAA7, call 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Jenni Lewis, director of community outreach and training, AAA7.