Greetings! As always there is much to share related to the long term care workforce in Wisconsin. Our efforts have been recognized nationally, and as a result the Alliance and the Wisconsin Direct Care Alliance have received financial support from a national funder. Check out the story below.
Please review our other articles below or see the web version of this newsletter.
WI LTC Workforce Alliance
The WI Long Term Care Workforce Alliance (Alliance), in partnership with the WI Direct Care Alliance (WIDCA) was granted $120,000 from the Direct Care Alliance for the period of June 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008. The goals of the grant are to create and strengthen the infrastructure of both organization and work with DCA field staff. The Alliance and WIDCA plan to hire new staff, diversify ifs leadership, and recruit new members, among other things.
Caregiver Project Update
The Caregiver Project held 6 extremely successful train-the-trainers this spring. 90 facility representatives attended the training. In turn, they plan to train 30,000 caregivers at their facilities. 99% of attendees said they will be able to use the materials presented at the training. Here's what they said they liked about the training:
- “Hands down, this was the most organized, thought out and meaningful in-service training I have attended. I enjoyed it all."
- “You changed my mind about experiential training. You made a difficult topic so functional, practical and simple on a topic that has been overdone and made it fresh and fun."
- “The "style" of training. Even though I was nervous, the facilitator practice was very beneficial."
- “Easily reproduced. Gets to everyone. Good use of money."
- “Engagement of all participants. Positive atmosphere. Validation of direct caregivers role."
- “Very interactive. Best training I've been to in a long time!"
Due to the success of the train-the-trainers, the Caregiver Project plans to host 6 train-the-trainers this fall and another 6-10 events next spring. A draft flyer is available on the train-the-trainer events. Registration will be available at by the end of July. Additionally, on-site registration will be provided at the Focus Special Session on August 7.
On June 8, 2007 Senator Herb Kohl introduced the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 1577). The Act proposes to expand and build on the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) pilot program, which examines ways in which states can implement systems to cost-effectively screen applicants for employment in long-term care facilities. The MMA pilot program, which sunsets in September 2007, has been implemented in seven states, includes WI. The pilot program institutes FBI fingerprint background checks to determine if caregiver applicants have a criminal history.
A summary of S. 1577 is available. An analysis of the bill will be provided in the August e-newsletter.
In late June, the Wisconsin State Senate passed a historic, comprehensive health care reform proposal as part of the state biennial budget. The proposal -- Healthy Wisconsin: Your Choice, Your Plan – will guarantee that every Wisconsinite has the same high-quality, affordable health care benefits that our legislators enjoy today. You can read the details of the plan in the Healthy Wisconsin Summary.
You can learn more about Healthy Wisconsin at their new website.
The Oldest of the Old
On June 11, 2007, Beverly Goldberg of The Century Foundation published "Facing the Problems of Providing Long-Term Care for the Oldest Old." As the first members of that huge generation known as the baby boomers begin to reach retirement, they are clearly more active and in better health than were earlier generations reaching that milestone. The boomers are looking forward to some two decades or more of what they believe will be an active, enjoyable third stage of life, given increases in longevity. What few of them have spent time contemplating, however, are the long-term problems that those extra years can bring: Will they be able to afford their new longevity? Will they remain healthy until the day they die? Who will care for them when they no longer can care for themselves?
Although the issue for all of us is the potential impact that this growing segment of the population will have, particularly on our national economy, this brief will focus on the problems specific to those who live the longest*the oldest old*looking in particular at (1) their special needs, (2) the costs of the long-term care necessary to meet those needs, and (3) the challenge of finding enough health care workers to provide that care.