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The recruitment and retention of an adequate
long-term care respite workforce is a
growing challenge nationwide. Many states
have met the challenge with innovations that
optimize local opportunities for enhancing
recruitment and retention of this workforce.
innovations in 33 states were analyzed as
part of the national evaluation of the AoA
Alzheimer's Disease Demonstration Grants
to States (ADDGS) Program.
The purpose of the ADDGS program is to develop statewide systems of support services for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers, with emphasis on inclusion of rural and minority families. The shortage of direct care workers is a challenge for the ADDGS grantees who not only need a workforce of sufficient size, but also a workforce prepared to deal with the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients in hard to serve populations.
States have used new approaches to expand direct care workforce capacity:
• 5 states use new ways to improve rewards (wages, benefits, advancement, or stability of employment) ,
• 20 states have emphasized various types of training
Several states go beyond the existing labor pool, and expand the workforce by redefining it:
• 9 states have developed new sources of workers by enlisting volunteers, family members, and others,
• 4 states help families employ persons not recruited from the direct care labor pool, and
• 1state uses technology to partially replace workers.
• Oklahoma’s program created a career ladder for direct care workers by adding a dementia competency requirement to a Geriatric Technician certificate program offered by Tulsa Community College. The Geriatric Technician Certificate is recognized by provider organizations with a wage increment for credentialed Certified Nurses Assistants, who may continue training and become Licensed Practical Nurses.
• In Maryland free lance workers are being transformed into “Micro-enterprises” where individuals who work as in-home caregivers or use their own homes to provide day care can, with small business training and technical assistance, become small businesses. This may improve the skills, image, and financial circumstances of workers. Micro-enterprises also may improve the economic environment of these rural areas
who work by providing aides who help clients get ready to go to
adult day care, and in-home respite support for hours after the
day care center closes.
Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island, Minnesota,
Nebraska, and Nevada offer dementia care training
statewide to providers free of charge as an incentive for
provider organizations to train direct care staff.
underscore the offer of dementia care training by making
the training prerequisite to provider eligibility to supply
the services funded by the project
Virginia, statewide curricula required for dementia
certification are being modified or developed. For example
West Virginia will modify its statewide technical-vocational
high school Certified Nurses Assistant curriculum and
certification examination to include dementia care.
Black/African American. The project manager coaches the family to be employers, conducts basic dementia training for care workers the family hires, urges provider organizations to place the new care workers on their rolls and develop a presence in the underserved area.
Indiana partnering with Guardian Medical Monitoring uses an innovative Technology to reconfigure work in a way that may reduce the number of workers needed to supervise a person with dementia.
Persons with Alzheimer’s disease are monitored for safety by offsite observers using video cameras installed in clients’ homes. Remote observers alert family caregivers or care staff when intervention is necessary. A paid respite worker, a friend, or a neighbor can monitor more than one person with dementia, without being physically present.