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PHI Spotlights Direct Care Workforce at ‘Aging in America’

By Kezia Scales, PhD | March 11, 2019

How will the long-term services and supports system meet the growing needs of an aging population? How can we ensure equitable access and outcomes for all older people who seek such services? What is the role of technology in improving service delivery and quality?

The direct care workforce is central to all these questions—and many more that will be tackled at the Aging in America conference this April. Nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides provide critical daily supports to older people and people with disabilities—and efforts to improve care access, quality, and outcomes must take these workers into account. That is the message that PHI will be bringing to the conference, which is hosted by the American Society on Aging and attended by more than 3,000 experts and advocates from across the country every year.

In PHI’s signature symposium (“Everything You Should Know About the Direct Care Workforce and Why”), we will present a national profile of direct care workers and offer a range of policy recommendations and practical tools for building and sustaining the workforce. These strategies will help employers, advocates, and policymakers alike, reflecting PHI’s 360-degree approach to improving job quality and workforce outcomes.

With colleagues from the Diverse Elders Coalition, SAGE, and LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s, PHI will also facilitate a workshop on inequality in aging services. Many older people experience unequal health care access and treatment due to race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or other factors. Likewise, direct care workers—many of whom are low-income women, people of color, and immigrants—often experience disparities on the job and in their personal lives. This workshop will underscore the importance of cultural competence for understanding and addressing these inequities among older people and the workers that support them.

Finally, in a symposium on technology, aging, and long-term care, PHI will highlight key developments in technology that can be harnessed to build and strengthen the direct care workforce. Examples will range from using social media to improve recruitment and hiring practices to leveraging online training platforms to reach a wider audience of workers. This symposium will also includes representatives from CITRIS Health and the University of California at Berkeley, DAYTA Marketing, and Microsoft.

Are you attending the Aging in America conference? If so, please join PHI at one of these presentations—or find us in the exhibit hall. We look forward to seeing you!

Here are the details of PHI’s presentations at the conference, in chronological order:

From Understanding Disparities to Promoting Cultural Competence: A Health Framework

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Time: 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

PHI Presenter: Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy
Room: Hyatt Regency New Orleans – Strand 12 B (Level 2)

How Technology Can Transform the Aging and Long-term Care Workforce

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Time: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

PHI Presenters: Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy and Jerry Philip, Director of Workforce Training Solutions
Room: Hyatt Regency New Orleans – Foster 2 (Level 2)

Everything You Should Know About the Direct Care Workforce and Why

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

PHI Presenters: Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy; Jerry Philip, Director of Workforce Training Solutions; and Kezia Scales, Director of Policy Research
Room: Hyatt Regency New Orleans – Strand 4 (Level 2)

Kezia Scales, PhD
About The Author

Kezia Scales, PhD

Director of Policy Research
Kezia Scales oversees PHI’s national research strategies to effectively study the direct care workforce and its relationship to long-term care, providing an evidence base to inform public policies on this critical workforce.
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