With an aging population, the need for safe, quality long-term care in Washington State will grow. Over the next twenty years, the number of seniors in our state will double, and we will need to recruit 400,000 home care aides to help them live independently in their own homes.
But home care workers today make only $10/hour, and don’t receive family health insurance or any retirement benefits, with no career pathway into middle-class jobs. Turnover is high – which not only impacts the quality of care, but also wastes taxpayer dollars. A recent study found that the cost of caregiver turnover (such as training new workers) is more than $5000/worker – money that could be better spent improving wages and benefits to stabilize the workforce.
Washington State has saved billions of dollars over the last twenty years by providing care to seniors in their own homes. Improving wages and benefits will help ensure that we can recruit enough qualified workers to continue providing the most cost-effective care to the growing number of seniors in our state.