Eldercare Workforce Alliance Statement on the Recommendations of the Public Members of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services
June 8, 2012
The Eldercare Workforce Alliance issued the following statement related to Recommendations of the Public Members of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.
New York, NY — The Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) commends the Public Members of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services for their recommendations put forth on May 15, 2012 in conjunction with the release of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. The Members’ recommendations to expand funding and incentives for health care providers to become more knowledgeable about dementia and to encourage individuals to pursue careers in geriatric specialties reflect the need to strengthen the nation’s eldercare workforce. These recommendations echo EWA’s appeal for attention to the eldercare workforce in a March 29 letter to the Council and oral testimony to the Council in April.
“Support for a strong, skilled eldercare workforce, including family caregivers, is essential to the success of the Plan,” noted EWA co-convener, Michèle Saunders. “A common sense, no-cost bipartisan proposal to codify such support into law is currently before Congress in the form of S. 1095, the Caring for an Aging America Act. S. 1095 would ensure eligibility for those who wish to serve underserved communities through the National Health Service Corps and specialize in geriatrics and gerontology. With the release of the Plan, we once again call on our policy makers to move forward with passage of this simple but important bill. ”
“The geriatrics programs responsible for preparing the health care workforce on the implementation of the National Plan will fall primarily under Title VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act. While the funding for Title VII and VIII has remained level or been cut, the need for preparation to care for older adults has skyrocketed,” said EWA co-convener, Nancy Lundebjerg. “Additional funding must be invested if we are to expand the activities of these programs to address the needs of the growing number of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic conditions.”