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New Issue of The Gerontologist Showcases Persistent Workforce Challenges in Long-Term Care

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
July 14, 2021

GSA’s deep commitment to a caring and competent workforce that supports our aging population was perhaps most visible when it served as a co-founder of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance in 2009. This alliance was formed in response to the landmark Institute of Medicine report “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce.”

Scientific research in this area continues to develop, and now GSA scholars are in the spotlight again with the latest issue of our journal The Gerontologist, titled “Workforce Issues in Long-Term Care.”

Inside is an impressive collection of 17 articles that illustrate:

  • How policy and workplace practices might influence workforce size by attracting and retaining workers
  • How social and policy contexts affect recruitment and retention
  • How the day-to-day experiences of direct care workers might relate to quality of care

“Workforce issues are the most significant challenges facing the long-term care industry,” wrote Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Meeks, PhD, FGSA, and Editor: Social Media Howard B. Degenholtz, PhD, FGSA, in their opening editorial.

But the collection also provides some optimism for the future.

“If the shared goal is that long-term care should provide both high-quality care and the opportunity for a good life, the resulting articles lay out many of the challenges faced by policymakers, practitioners, and providers,” Meeks and Degenholtz state. “At the same time, new models of care and new ways of thinking about and defining ‘work’ have perhaps moved us a few steps down the path. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the need to reinvest in the long-term care workforce, and we hope that this collection will provide positive guidance for future research and policy.”

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