Workforce Development Focus of IHCA/INCAL Conference as Profession Faces Critical Staffing Shortage

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Demand for frontline caregivers represents significant challenge for long term care providers

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The ability to care for an increasing number of elderly and frail Hoosiers in the coming years is directly related to the ability to hire and keep quality employees in the state’s skilled nursing and assisted living centers right now.

The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL) will put the focus on workforce development at the 2016 Regional Spring Conference in French Lick, Indiana on April 19 and 20. The association, which represents more than 350 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities statewide, will offer two days of education on how to attract, select, hire and retain quality employees in the long term care and assisted living settings.

"The need for workforce development training is more crucial for our members now than ever before," said IHCA/INCAL President Zach Cattell. "The long term care profession is facing a significant shortage of skilled nurses, certified nurse aides and other frontline staff, not just in Indiana, but across the nation. That shortage is only projected to worsen as the aging population creates an unprecedented demand for our services."

A June 2015 study by UC San Francisco researchers found that 2.5 million long term care workers are needed between now and 2030 to keep up with the aging population. According to the study, 20 percent of Americans will be age 65 by 2030, and those 19 million adults will need LTC services by 2050, which is up from 8 million in 2000. The study also concludes that even if 20 percent of elderly patients moved from nursing homes to home health care, the projected increase in demand for long term care workers would only drop from 79 to 74 percent.

“The ability to care for an increasing number of elderly and frail Hoosiers in the coming years is directly related to the ability to hire and keep quality employees in the state’s skilled nursing and assisted living centers right now,” said Cattell. “IHCA/INCAL is dedicated to taking an active role in this effort by offering education to our members on staffing best practices and by partnering with organizations and educational institutions to direct more healthcare workers to long term care.”

The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL) is Indiana's largest trade association and advocate representing proprietary, not-for-profit and hospital-based nursing, assisted living communities and Independent Living. IHCA/INCAL provides education, information and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of our members.

To learn more about IHCA/INCAL, visit http://www.ihca.org or contact Kate Vaulter at kvaulter(at)ihca(dot)org or 317-616-9002.

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