Home healthcare workers in demand
In the next several years Minnesota will need to hire 50,000 to 60,000 more direct care workers.
But that won’t be easy, which is why that topic was addressed Tuesday at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Center. It was a “care giving” summit focused on the shortage of workers who deal with seniors and the disabled in home settings.
A gamut of people showed up, including advocates, providers, family members, consumers and government employees.
Their goal was to find a way to attract more caregivers, because not many workers are gravitating to the care giving business these days.
“There is a growing shortage of all direct care workers in all settings,” said Loren Colman from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “We need to make care giving a more sought–after profession, a more sought–after job.”
At the summit, better benefits, compensation and, education were some of the ideas being floated around to lure in more caregivers.
“We see the demographic surge that’s been growing for the last several years,” Colman said. “We need to move faster to identify new sources of workers.”
Meanwhile, at Home Instead Senior Care in Maple Grove, the caregiver shortage is real.
“The need for caregivers on a professional basis working for a company like ours is nearing the critical stage,” said Home Instead’s John Stuck.
Home Instead’s caregivers are paid between $11-$15 an hour, but, only 10 percent of those who apply are hired because there is a small pool of qualified applicants.
“We need dependable people and we truly need people with the heart of a caregiver,” Stuck said. “That person that we know is going to be there for our client.”
Another qualification that most caregivers need is reliable transportation.
The event was sponsored by almost 30 Minnesota organizations.
Eric Nelson, reporting
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