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How to Prepare for the Future Long‐term Care Workforce?

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Abstract:

Although the effects of the economic crisis may mitigate shortages of LTC workers in the near future, an integrated approach is required to prepare for the LTC workforce in the longer term. Measures can be targeted at education, recruitment and retention, as well as at job content, productivity and quality. These can cover subsectors (home care, day care, residential care) but could also take the form of integrated sector approaches. Furthermore, for different categories of workers (nurses, lower‐level workers), specific policies may be required, as for nurses an LTC career often is not a natural choice, while for lower‐level workers LTC jobs are often not perceived as a "profession" but as "dead end job", with few options for progressing other than finding a job elsewhere. This can lead to high turnover and limited job retention, with subsequent high cost for employers, public finances, those in need of care and their families. Potential measures look at valuing LTC work and the workforce and may require substantial change in the organisation and management of care. Moreover, while in some countries foreign‐born workers will represent sizable shares of the LTC workforce, there may be questions about the sustainability of such an approach. This chapter explores policies to improve inflows, retention, and productivity of LTC workers.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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