February 7, 2020

Caregiver Shortage in Massachusetts

Lawmakers and stakeholders in Massachusetts are looking for solutions to a caregiver shortage that has left thousands of job vacancies at skilled nursing and home health agencies throughout the state.

The workforce shortage was under discussion during a state hearing this week and included testimony from several nursing home and aging advocates, the Boston Globe reported.

During the hearing, workers and officials blamed the shortage on low wages, lack of opportunities for advancement, the availability of better-paying jobs and federal restrictions on immigrants.

Several state lawmakers have proposed increasing wages for caregivers through the states Medicaid program to help address the caregiver shortage, according to the report.

The work of caring for another individual is a life-giving profession, Elizabeth Chen, state secretary of elder affairs, said. We can do more to honor these workers.

The ongoing workforce shortage has been a key concern for the entire long-term care industry, and earlier this week, LeadingAge named it a top policy priority. A December wage report also warned that providers will have to compete harder to attract caregivers after the average hourly wage that certified nursing assistants are willing to work for increased.