Non-Profit Providers Open the Door to Careers in Aging Services
Friday, September 28, 2018
Posted by: Julianna Ems
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is experiencing a significant healthcare workforce shortage to support the exploding population of older adults. LeadingAge Texas, a trade association of not-for-profit aging services providers, is leading the charge to address workforce challenges facing every Texas provider.
Direct care workers are becoming critical to the health and well-being of American families. The U.S. Census forecasts that by 2050, 70 percent of the population aged 65 and older will require some form of long-term care. Today, providers face high turnover and difficulty attracting caregivers to the profession. By 2030, Texas is projected to have the largest increase in demand for overall long-term nursing care provided by Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses.
Current healthcare training lacks exposure to long-term care career opportunities. A survey of U.S. undergraduate nursing programs suggested that over 85 percent had no gerontological training. Studies show that exposure to aging populations generates interest in long-term care careers.
The first week of October, LeadingAge Texas not-for-profit providers will host a “Careers in Aging Services Day.” Students from local high schools, community colleges, and universities will experience firsthand the rewarding aspects of a career working with older adults.
“Hosting a career day at our community will help to bring awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in our field. We look forward to sharing our stories and experiences with the students and making an impact on their career path,” said Tiffany Tello, Healthcare Administrator at Querencia at Barton Creek. Querencia will host their Careers in Aging Services Day on Tuesday, October 2, and will focus on healthcare and hospitality.
LeadingAge Texas partnerships with Texas academic institutions are exposing students to the exploding demand in aging services. A key partnership with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center will result in a new online long-term care management certification program starting in 2019. Other local academic partnerships are on track to better equip students for careers in long-term care. Austin Community College will start exposing students to long-term care and begin offering a Bachelor of Science in nursing to help meet the increased demand.
LeadingAge Texas advocates for a high-quality workforce in aging services. “Direct-care staff is the backbone of our nursing home. By offering competitive wages and benefits we attract great staff and our investment has paid off when it comes to the level of quality we offer our residents,” says Rodney Rueter, president and CEO of Lutheran Sunset Ministries, a top-quality rural nursing home in Clifton.
”Given the growing need of aging services professionals, we must continue to show students that a career in long-term care is one that promises job security, unique opportunities, and growth,” said George Linial, president and CEO of LeadingAge Texas.
The recent LeadingAge Texas Workforce Summit held in Mesquite put this matter in the spotlight, offering employers new tools for attracting staff and improving the challenges of the aging population explosion.