Formerly the WVLTCP, we are now WVPEL, Inc.
Funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Long-Term Care Workforce

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rocketboom/2820641780/An array of providers – from physicians to in-home aides – are required to provide comprehensive health and support services to older adults. West Virginians deserve to receive quality care from providers who understand the unique needs of older adults.

Presently, data for individual professions varies in its consistency and availability. Geographic analysis does indicate a regionalization of healthcare delivery. West Virginia has several areas, such as Cabell, Kanawha and Monongalia counties, which offer a good mix of providers and facilities. These counties appear to serve as centers for care, but by definition the long-term care consumer will have a difficult time traveling to these locations to meet all their care needs.

Because traditionally defined long-term care facilities are unlikely to be expanded, it becomes important to have the workforce available in the local communities. As a result, in planning for future workforce needs, improved data collection is required, as is improved understanding and agreement on the care models that should be used to deliver health and support services to older adults.

Another significant concern is the shortage of trained, reliable direct care workers. These professionals often make poverty-level wages, receive little training or appreciation, and incur a costly turnover rate. A majority of direct care workers directly or indirectly are employed by state programs, and thus, moving forward state policy could influence occupational outcomes. Issues warranting further study include uniform training standards, development of a certification program, improved compensation, and recruitment and retention strategies, especially in underserved counties.

The Workforce Working Group’s Spring 2010 report detailing available data on the state’s long-term care professions is available in the Library.