Experts address workforce issues in long-term care

"Workforce issues are the most significant challenges facing the long-term care industry," states the opening editorial of a new special issue of The Gerontologist titled "Workforce Issues in Long-Term Care."

The 17 articles contained within illustrate:

  • How policy and workplace practices might influence workforce size by attracting and retaining workers
  • How social and policy contexts affect recruitment and retention
  • How the day-to-day experiences of direct care workers might relate to quality of care

"Their rich and varied methodologies and perspectives also offer the field some glimpses of optimism that we can leverage diverse approaches to improve long-term care," wrote Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Meeks, PhD, FGSA, and Editor: Social Media Howard B. Degenholtz, PhD, FGSA, in the editorial.

Overall, the collection addresses the long-term care workforce from the front line to the back office, from rigid hierarchies to flexible models that promote creativity.

"If the shared goal is that long-term care should provide both high-quality care and the opportunity for a good life, the resulting articles lay out many of the challenges faced by policymakers, practitioners, and providers," Meeks and Degenholtz state. "At the same time, new models of care and new ways of thinking about and defining 'work' have perhaps moved us a few steps down the path. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the need to reinvest in the long-term care workforce, and we hope that this collection will provide positive guidance for future research and policy."

The studies include:

  • Workforce Issues in Long-Term Care: Is There Hope for a Better Way Forward?
  • Retooling the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America: A Current Perspective
  • It's Time to Resolve the Direct Care Workforce Crisis in Long-Term Care
  • Impact of a New Home Care Payment Mechanism on Growth of the Home Care Workforce in Taiwan
  • Maximizing Home Health Aide Retention: The Impact of Control and Support on the Job
  • Organizational Factors Associated with Retention of Direct Care Workers: A Comparison of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
  • Long-Term Residential Care Policy Guidance for Staff to Support Resident Quality of Life
  • "If They Don't Like You, They Are Not Going to Eat for You": Individual and Interpersonal Factors Affecting Certified Nursing Assistants' Ability to Provide Mealtime Assistance to Residents with Dementia
  • Not Just How Many but Who is on Shift: The Impact of Workplace Incivility and Bullying on Care Delivery in Nursing Homes
  • Assistant Nurses' Positioned Accounts for Prioritizations in Residential Care for Older People
  • Comparing Occupational Adaptation-Based and Traditional Training Programs for Dementia Care Teams: An Embedded Mixed-Methods Study
  • Medical Care Delivery in U.S. Nursing Homes: Current and Future Practice
  • Medical Staffing Organization and Quality of Care Outcomes in Post-Acute Care Settings
  • Nurse Practitioners Rising to the Challenge During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Long-Term Care Homes
  • Measuring Caregiver Retention in Nursing Homes
  • Deeply Discrediting: A Systematic Review Examining the Conceptualizations and Consequences of the Stigma of Working in Aged Care
  • Assuring Quality in Nursing Homes: The Black Box of Administrative and Clinical Leadership--a Scoping Review

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