LeadingAge California is at the forefront of workforce issues in housing, care, and services for older adults in California. We formulate public policy, advance leadership and education, and elevate public awareness about the need, demand and opportunity for workers in an effort to GROW THE WORKFORCE in Life Plan Communities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Communities, Affordable Senior Housing, Independent Living, Home Health, Hospice, PACE, Community-Based Services, and other venues serving older adults.
Our workforce is complex and diverse, working in small freestanding communities to large multi-service, multi-site organizations with large campuses – from individuals in dining services, maintenance, health care, (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and physicians, physical therapists), housekeeping, service coordinators, property managers, spiritual counselors, and music therapists, to administrative support and executive leadership of each organization.
These individuals are the workforce and backbone of high quality, resident and patient-centered care in congregate, community-based, and home settings of our nearly 700 members, serving hundreds of thousands of older adults in California. Our 60-year history helps guide our understanding of workforce and frames our perspective for the future.
Equity and inclusion are core principles for building a high-quality workforce and for providing housing, care, and services to older adults in all member settings. These older adults and workforce in turn represent the diversity of California – from Black, Caucasian, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian Pacific-Islanders, and others, to Buddhist, Christian, Islam, Jewish, Muslim, and other spiritual practices, to straight and LGBTQIA. Our workforce must reflect the individuals we serve, be educated (preferably from an early age) to understand the complexities of aging, be trained and empathetic to these individual characteristics and have a path to success serving older adults and those with disabilities as California’s population over 65 expands and the available workforce contracts.
In response to this growing demand for workers, LeadingAge California launched its Workforce Situation Room in 2019 as part of its Strategic Plan 2019-2021.
The goal of the Workforce Situation Room (WFSR) was to create this WORKFORCE BLUEPRINT for ACTION that can be used by our membership and others to GROW the WORKFORCE through innovative recruitment, retention, training, and career development opportunities.
The WFSR convened 35 influencers in workforce for three years. These influencers included provider members of LeadingAge California, business partners, students, millennials, and entrepreneurs representing various workforce segments: education, development, technology, staffing, transportation, and others. Guests included experts on workforce research, development, creation, and retention.
The outcome of these meetings resulted in one unifying goal: to grow the workforce, six key strategic initiatives, and 20 strategic actions. The result was a clear focus on workers at all levels of an organization - from dietary to maintenance to health care to administration, and included a demand for cultivation beginning in early education, as well as the integration of new immersive technologies for recruitment, training, and retention. Competency development and career paths were paramount to these discussions.
One unifying goal – to grow the workforce — will result in 16,000 new workers over the 10-year period in our member settings. 1
This Workforce Blueprint for Action outlines the problem, foundational initiatives influencing this effort, and actions to be taken over a 10-year period to help accelerate growth in workforce. Our 20 strategic actions will be done in partnership with policy-makers, with academic settings beginning in high school years and earlier, with other associations, and with provider organizations to assist with promotion, recruitment and retention of workers both young and old, workers representing the diversity of our state, and workers across a spectrum of occupations that currently exist and others that will be created.
The LeadingAge California Planning Committee will oversee the implementation of the plan, receiving regular reports at its quarterly meetings, and will provide an annual progress report to the Board of Directors. The Workforce Situation Room will continue to be convened twice annually as a thought leadership council to guide new insights over the 10-year period and suggest course-corrections to the Workforce Blueprint for Action. To support this effort, an internal staff person will provide operational oversight to ensure execution is timely and that the plan is making a difference as evidenced by outcomes and metrics. This will be an interactive Blueprint for Action via a microsite on the LeadingAge California website, where members and others can go for information, data, progress reports and tools to guide their workforce growth and development efforts.
This bold plan is LeadingAge California’s blueprint for workforce growth and development in our member communities and others interested in housing, care and services in California.
6 Key Strategic Initiatives
Re-imagine the workforce with an equity lens based on data and analytics
- PUBLIC POLICY
Introduce workforce bills that promote equity, reduce barriers to entry, allow for migrant guest workers, and promote competitive pay and loan forgiveness
Socialize senior living and care in early childhood education, create career paths for high school students and others to enter the field, including leadership academies and mentorship programs
Accelerate adoption of technology to help solve staffing pressures using tech-enabled solutions
- PUBLIC AWARENESS
Improve perception of and differentiate the workforce; create collaborations with community-based programs, colleges, churches, and others
- WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Create opportunities across all occupations, scholarships and loan forgiveness; with an initial focus on paid caregivers, nursing and leadership development
The Problem We Are Trying to Solve
By 2030, one in five Californian’s will be over age 65, many requiring caregiving assistance. There will be an 88% increase in older adults with self-care limitations, and a 54% increase in demand for health care workforce causing increased competition across all settings.
In 2020, there were about 800,000 jobs in California in senior living and care — in congregate and home care.2 A number predicted to grow to 1.2 million by 2030.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects there will be 7.8 million paid direct care job openings in the US from 2016-2026. The direct care workforce will grow more than any occupation in the country, faster than registered nurses and fast-food workers combined. In California, personal care aides alone will be the largest single occupation by 2026 with nearly 275,000 new caregiver jobs.3
California has a workforce shortage. The number of younger adults entering the workforce has slowed, and the total number of retirees continues to grow.
But workforce shortages have been growing for decades. California Department of Finance analyses4 show a dramatic shift from a ‘Christmas tree-shaped’ break-down to rotund-shaped demographics when comparing age bands from 1970 to 2050.
This shift is consequential. The ‘old-age dependency’ ratio increases from 16% in 1970 to 35% in 2030, and 42% in 2050; a nearly 3-fold increase. And, median age increases from 28 in 1970 to 39 in 2030, to 43 in 2050 – just under half of the population will be younger than 50 and half over 50 by 2050. This means there will be a much greater burden to the economy and workforce in supporting the aging population.
Retirees expected to grow by over 70% from 2020 – 2030.
From 2008 – 2018, retirees grew by 38% — from 3.8 million to 5.2 million — by contrast, the state’s population grew by just 8%.
Workforce Education and Leadership Development
Compounding the shortage, awareness about occupations in senior living and care lags in early childhood, high school and college-level education. And, once in the field, advanced training and development to build future leaders across the spectrum of occupations and settings is limited.
Clinicians typically enter the field with a traditional education, one not typically focused on the needs of older adults or more wholistically on gerontology. Opportunities exists for greater immersion into occupations in the field, leadership development for career advancement, and mentorship and support programs to cultivate leadership strengths. Additional barriers are cost, quality and availability of education and leadership training.
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) exposed significant and systemic disparities in workforce across the US. In California, these disparities were further heightened by geography, racial group, and income level. Those living in certain communities, in certain racial groups – particularly Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Asian-Pacific Islanders – and from lower income groups were more likely to be front-line workers and unable to avoid exposure to and infection by this deadly disease. One University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study shows that excess deaths were highest in Blacks, and individuals with no more than a high school degree. Yet, “…once lockdown ended, per capita excess deaths their racial or ethnic group, or their level of education.” 5
“As California ages, grows and becomes increasingly diverse, our health workforce lags further behind the demand. It’s not just that we don’t have enough health providers; we don’t have the right people in the right places with the right training.” 6
Foundational Initiatives to Frame Our Blueprint
California Future Health Workforce Commission
The California Future Health Workforce Commission Final Report laid out THREE STRATEGIES and 27 RECOMMENDATIONS. The THREE strategies are foundational to the LeadingAge California Workforce Blueprint for Action: 1) Increase opportunity for all Californians to advance in health professions; 2) Align and expand education and training to prepare health workers to meet California’s health needs; and 3) Strengthen the capacity, effectiveness, well-being, and retention of the health workforce. “By 2030, California’s health workforce will reflect the diversity of the state and have the capacity and competency to improve health, equity, and well-being in all communities; provide accessible, affordable, high-quality services at the right time, at the right level, and in the right places; and transform health care delivery to address social needs and improve health outcomes across the life course.” The Commission recognized that this is an enormous undertaking, particularly when health care represents 12.6% of the state’s economy, employing 1.4 million skilled workers in dozens of different settings. 7
California Master Plan for Aging
California’s Master Plan for Aging (MPA), likewise, lays-out five bold goals, including Goal 4: Caregiving That Works with a target to add 1 million high quality caregiving jobs in California by 2030. The MPA estimates that California will face a caregiver shortage of up to 3.2 million paid direct care workers, far outstripping estimates based on BLS data.8
Three key initiatives reinforce and align with LeadingAge California’s Workforce Blueprint for Action: (1) Initiative #111: Convene a Direct Care Workforce Solutions Table to address workforce supply challenges and opportunities in skilled nursing facilities. (2) Initiative #112: Consider expanding online training platforms for direct care workers – including opportunities for dementia training for [IHSS family] caregivers seeking a career ladder and more - to meet the need as funding is available. (3) Initiative #113: Diversify pipeline for direct care workers in home and community settings by testing and scaling emerging models (e.g., Healthcare Career Pathways; High Road Direct Care; Universal Home Care Workers; more).9
LeadingAge California is aligned with its national partner, LeadingAge. It has created workforce resources that target key areas of workforce research, recruitment, and retention.
Center for Workforce Solutions
LeadingAge Center for Workforce Solutions provides recruitment tools; essential facts and federal workforce policy; promising practices and ideas for recruitment; retention and partnership; workforce tools including turnover cost calculator, tech solutions and more; workforce member solutions from business partners; and competency development guides (See Addendum 5). These and other tools offer helpful insights and tools for members and are adjunctive to the LeadingAge California Workforce Blueprint for Action.
LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston
More than a decade ago, The LeadingAge Center for Applied Research became a national leader in the effort to address workforce issues through Better Jobs Better Care, a $15.5 million research and demonstration program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies. This major national initiative launched an ongoing effort by LeadingAge to improve the working conditions and preparation of direct care workers, nurses, and other staff in long-term care settings.
The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston is continuing this work. The LTSS Center is committed to disseminating information about workforce-related challenges, and collaborating with employers and policy makers to identify, demonstrate, and assess promising workforce development practices.
The LTSS Center @UMass Boston is currently conducting research on a ‘Universal Home Care Professional.’ Universal Workers – (a job category that would allow an individual to be trained in various capacities to ease staffing burdens and offer flexibility in workforce choices) – are also being used and considered in other settings in California.
St. Paul’s Senior Living Community in San Diego uses Universal Workers to assist with activities of daily living, provide nursing care, housekeeping activities, and other related services as necessary to meet the personal needs and comfort of residents and assist in maintenance of a safe, clean environment. These workers must receive certain training and certifications either prior to or on the job.10
St. Paul’s has demonstrated
10.5% turn-over in its Memory Care setting with a modified universal worker system – a nearly 40% lower rate than St. Paul’s overall CNA turn-over, and more than 200% lower than comparisons with regional and national providers.
The LTSS Center @UMass Boston completed research resulting in the creation of two competency guides: for Mid-Level Manager Competency Development, and for Personal Care Attendant Competency Development. These guides help providers identify the worker skills that are most important to and appropriate for their organizations, and then to use those competencies to recruit staff, design staff training, and establish criteria for performance evaluations.11
In 2009, just 11 years ago, these products didn’t exist: iPad, Lyft, Uber, Apple Watch, AirPods, Netflix Originals, Grubhub, Home Meal Kits, Instagram, Venmo, Square, Pinterest, Snapchat, Smart Thermostats, Airbnb, and Instacart, among other common tools we now take for granted. Why have these tools taken so long to get to the congregate settings, where millions of older adults live? Unlike these common products, online workforce tools have been around for decades – monster.com (1999), LinkedIn (2002), and more recently, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Google for Jobs.
Myriad resources exist to accelerate workforce recruitment, distance learning, and staff retention. On-demand learning, digital skill training, up-skilling, predictive modeling, engagement tools, immersive training, robotics to in-fill workforce shortages or specific tasks, and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve productivity in repetitive tasks. Several studies indicate that AI will create new hybrid roles, where humans enable machines and AI augments human capabilities.12,13
Products in senior living are accelerating and already are implemented in many settings – from Accushield digital welcome kiosks, to Amazon Alexa for resident engagement, robots performing cleaning, such as the Artemis V6 Sanitation robot, and Morrison Living’s partnership with Bear Robotics for dining services. Joy for All life-like companion pets, Pillo Health medication dispensaries, Lively motion sensors Kennon sanitation robots, Embodied Labs immersive caregiver training, and Optimus Ride autonomous cars, amongst other AI enabled and robotic products, are currently in use at LeadingAge California member locations – in Life Plan Communities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Communities, Home Health, Hospice, PACE, and Community-Based Services, and other venues serving older adults.
Amelia, the “most human AI for the enterprise’ is the market-leader in digital employee and conversation. Amelia purports to combine the ability to address a variety of use cases – including customer service, HR support, marketing, and IT helpdesk – with its ability to function across channels, including voice, thereby providing customers with an Intelligent Virtual Agent solution fit for multiple business needs.”14
While a digital workforce is not likely to replace the workforce in housing, care, and services for older adults, understanding digital workforce potential is essential as employees become increasingly scarce.
PEP Housing, a Santa Rosa-based affordable housing provider, explores innovative ways to help its residents live independently with greater safety and confidence. PEP Housing was chosen to pilot an exciting and affordable new motion sensor called “Live!y”. The tiny sensors are adhered to cabinet doors, pill dispensers and other features that are moved regularly. If no movement of that item is detected when expected, an alert is sent to a family member or caregiver’s smart phone or computer. Because the system uses cellular technology, the senior user does not need an internet connection. An added feature of the system allows family members who may live at a distance to upload photos to be published in a personal “Livelygram” which is mailed regularly to the senior, maintaining a greater sense of connection.
From online recruitment tools to enhanced application processing, from immersive technology to standardize training, from behavioral assessment tools to help improve workforce management, to many other tools, adaptation is critical in our member settings.
While we are accustomed to using digital workforce and devices at home (on-line buying, medical appointment reminders, air travel, app-based ridesharing, voice activated and home monitoring devices, and more), overall adoption in housing, care and services for older adults has been slow. As in the general population, the digital divide exists in nearly all venues serving older adults.
Slow adoption may be related to a lack of broadband access, infrastructure in a facility, IT support in a community to help with training and troubleshooting, costs, end-user hesitancy, and/or a combination of these factors. Most importantly, the culture of an organization and strategy to advance technology must exist.
Other Resources and Initiatives
Myriad resources and initiatives exist to inform the work of this Blueprint for Action. Reviews of materials from the California Labor and Workforce Agency, the California Workforce Development Board and its Strategic Workforce Development Plan whose goal is the reorientation and realignment of California’s workforce programs and institutions, California’s Health Workforce Initiative, and others.
The 2015 report of the California Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, includes recommendations on policy changes such as nurse delegation of health maintenance tasks, training and financial support for a competent workforce among others. Most recently, the state’s Master Plan for Aging Goal 4, “Caregiving that Works,” targets 1 million new high-quality caregiving jobs by 2030.
Partnerships with organizations such as National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), PHI, and other national organizations focusing on workforce issues will be formed to help accelerate pathway development.
Additionally, support for workforce initiatives from grantees and foundations (Archstone, California Health Care Foundation, federal Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP), Foundation for California Community Colleges, John A. Hartford Foundation, and others) are vital in rolling out this bold new Workforce Blueprint for Action.
There is not one solution to solving the workforce problem in California and beyond. This LeadingAge California Workforce Blueprint for Action is intended to integrate various and converging paths to accelerate workforce growth in our state. It will be a guide and tool for your organization to expand and extend its workforce in the years ahead.
LeadingAge California is working in partnership with you to advance workforce-specific public policy, leadership and education training and career development, innovation, and technology as an accelerator to your organization’s success, and public awareness campaigns to GROW THE WORKFORCE for housing, care, and service providers.
Workforce Situation Room Key Themes
It's OUR Time
- Create a 10-year roadmap
- Develop an incremental process
- Focus on workforce recruitment, retention, development
- Focus on equity at all levels
- Be bold
- Re-imagine workforce
- Understand market and equity variations
- Understand workforce in housing, care, and services for older adults
- Collect and use data: big data, predictive analytics
- Develop supply ‘together’
- Create shared workforce
2. Public Policy
- Introduce workforce bills that promote equity and reduce barriers to entry
- Evaluate and streamline regulations/barriers to entry
- Consider migrant guest worker program, similar to Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker (MSFW) Outreach Program
- Support loan forgiveness and incentives for workers in the field
- Promote jobs and pay competitive with other sectors
- Promote dining assistant pilot project; universal worker standard
- Create career ladders for HS to CNA to LVN to RN through collaborations with college and community career centers
- Build and promote competencies in gerontology
- Develop leadership training for nurses, supervisors and managers
- Create community mentorship program, promoting equity and including family caregiver education
- Create education academy / pathway program for High School level (i.e., LA Ohio), and socialize in early childhood education
- Provide Free LeadingAge California membership for students
- Accelerate adoption and use to help solve staffing issues
- Reduce DEMAND for workforce through technology – create efficiencies through technologies
- Promote and partner for use of tech-enabled solutions
5. Public Awareness
- Improve perception of and differentiate the field
- Promote job satisfaction in the field
- Consider jobs and pay competitive with other sectors
- Develop outreach programs to create pipeline to enter field – targeting young and older adults
- Create collaborations with churches, community centers where workers live and work
6. Workforce Development
- Focus on paid caregivers, CNAs, RNs, and leadership development
- Promote Universal Worker role
- Provide scholarships and loan forgiveness for all clinical positions
- Re-imagine workforce, and create flexible schedules, new positions
Workforce Blueprint for Action
LeadingAge California and its members will partner together to create sufficient workforce in housing, care and services for older adults and support quality professional workers in the field.
Unifying Goal: GROW THE WORKFORCE
Our one unifying goal — to grow the workforce — will result in 16,000 additional workers in all categories of the existing member workforce by 2031.
- Strategy: Re-imagine the workforce with an equity lens based on data and analytics
- Public Policy: Introduce workforce bills that promote equity, reduce barriers to entry, allow for migrant guest workers, and promote competitive pay and loan forgiveness
- Education: Socialize senior living and care in early childhood education, create career paths for high school students and others to enter the field, including leadership academies and mentorship programs
- Technology: Accelerate adoption of technology to help solve staffing pressures using tech-enabled solutions
- Public Awareness: Improve perception of and differentiate the workforce; create collaborations with community-based programs, colleges, churches, and others
- Workforce Development: Create opportunities across all occupations, scholarships and loan forgiveness; with an initial focus on paid caregivers, nursing and leadership development
Strategic Actions 2021 - 2031
LeadingAge California has identified 20 Strategic Initiatives to grow the workforce from 2021- 2031.
2021 – 2022
1. Seek grant funding to support implementation of the Workforce Blueprint for Action.
2. Establish baseline data and measurable metrics on all staff positions in member workforce. Monitor changes bi-annually in odd years beginning 2023 through 2031.
3. Focus LeadingAge California social media initiatives on building awareness of job opportunities and benefits of working in housing, care, and services for older adults.
4. Create and seek approval for Dining Assistant and Universal Worker standard for acceptance by the California Department of Public Health and the Department of Social Services. [See Addendum 1.]
5. Create and launch career ladder for CNA to LVN to RN in collaboration with Unitek Learning, educational partner, and/or others with similar goals.
6. Create Advanced Leadership Training for nurses, managers and executives, including emphasis on gerontology and communication.
7. Promote bills that accelerate acceptance of Universal Worker Standards, reduce barriers to entry, allow for clinical reciprocity, and that bolster a migrant guest worker program in California, similar to migrant guest workers used as staff supplements during the coronavirus pandemic.
2023 – 2024
8. Enroll at least 10 into Career Ladder program; and at least 20 into EMERGE and EMERGE 2.0 (Advanced Leadership Training) annually. [See Addendum 2]
9. Create a Re-Imagine Workforce Initiative with WFSR Members and others to redefine and rethink the workforce for the future. [See Addendum 3.]
10. Create high school academy/pathway program for the variety of positions - from maintenance to dining to health care - leveraging experience of other state affiliates, and in partnership with California Department of Aging, Department of Education, and other agencies as appropriate.
11. Focus on technology adoption by establishing baseline data on member use of technology impacting workforce.
12. Seek grant funding to support technology adoption in member communities, such as Civil Monetary Penalties and foundations, with primary focus on underserved communities.
13. Introduce and support bills to reduce remaining barriers, such as pay equity, livable wage, and certification.
2025 – 2026
14. Launch high school level curriculum about housing, care, and services for older adults, leveraging experience of other state affiliates and in partnership with Department of Aging and Department of Education.
15. Establish scholarship program to support at least 50 students per year who will work with and be trained in member communities.
16. Create official statement and position paper on outcomes of Universal Worker Standard, Career Ladder.
17. Create official statement and position paper on results of Re-Imagine Workforce Initiative, including new positions and new staffing models.
18. Create official infographic of all significant outcomes to date using measurable data and metrics initiated in year 1.
2027 – 2028
19. Refresh curriculum in Career Ladder program and EMERGE 2.0 (Advanced Leadership Training) Programs to assure focus on future and integrating progressive immersive teaching models and training methods.
20. Implement and promote to members results of Re-Imagine Workforce Initiatives.
2029 – 2031
21. Continue evaluation, course-correction, and promotion of participation in LeadingAge California curricula and scholarship programs.
22. Measure Workforce Growth goal of 16,000 by 2031.
The implementation of this Workforce Blueprint for Action will be managed by a LeadingAge California staff person with oversight by the LeadingAge California Planning Committee. The Planning Committee will oversee implementation, receive regular reports at its quarterly meetings, and provide an annual progress report to the Board of Directors.
1 LeadingAge California currently represents approximately 20%, or 160,000 of the 800,000, employed healthcare workforce in senior living and care settings. This 10% growth goal is based on 160,000 currently employed.
2 US Bureau of Labor Statistics: CCRCs, Residential Care Facilities, Affordable Housing, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health, Personal Care Aides, and Hospice. Estimates based on BLS 2020 California-level data. https://data.bls.gov/
3 Campbell, S. New Research: 7.8 Million Direct Caregiver Jobs Will Need to Be Filled by 2026. PHI Newsroom, January 26, 2019 https://phinational.org/news/new-research-7-8-million-direct-care-jobs-will-need-to-be-filled-by-2026/
4 State of California Department of Finance Population Estimates and Projections for California and its Counties. Be Filled by 2026. PHI Newsroom, January 26, 2019 https://phinational.org/news/new-research-7-8-million-direct-care-jobs-will-need-to-be-filled-by-2026/
5 Yea-Hung Chen, PhD, MS1; M. Maria Glymour, ScD, MS2; Ralph Catalano, PhD, MRP3; et al. JAMA Internal Medicine; Published online December 21, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.7578.
7 California Future Health Workforce Commission. Meeting the Demand for Health, Final Report; February 2019. https://futurehealthworkforce.org/our-work/finalreport/.
8 California Master Plan for Aging. Final Report. Released January 2020. https://mpa.aging.ca.gov/.
9 California Master Plan for Aging. Goal 4: Caregiving That Works. Released January 2020. https://mpa.aging.ca.gov/.
10 St. Paul’s Senior Living Community. Online job description, January 2021. https://www.stpauls1867.org/join-our-team/employment/universal-worker#:~:text=Assists%20residents%20with%20activities%20of,of%20a%20safe%2C%20clean%20environment.
11 LTSS Center @UMass Boston. Resources available to LeadingAge members, 2021. https://www.ltsscenter.org/workforce/#Identifying-Competencies-for-Mid-Level-Managers-and-Frontline-Workers.
12 Atkinson RD, Ezell J. The Manufacturing Evolution: How AI will Transform Manufacturing & the Workforce of the Future. The MAPI Foundation, August 6, 2019. https://mapifoundation.org/manufacturing-evolution
13 MIT Technology Review, 2017. Getting to Iconic. August 2017. https://www.genesys.com/en-gb/resources/how-to-be-a-customer-experience-leader-getting-to-iconic?thankyou=2458&page_type=resources&page_attr=Research%20Report
14 Digital Workforce.ai by Amelia, an IPsoft Company. The World’s First Marketplace for Digital Employees. https://amelia.com
LeadingAge California 2021 Policy, Legislative
and Regulatory Initiatives
Dining Assistants in Skilled Nursing Facilities
LeadingAge California has created a grant proposal, “Dining Improvement through Nutrition Encouragement (DINE).” It expects to launch a pilot project allowing Dining Assistants to assist residents with feeding in skilled nursing facilities. The proposal incorporates the development of training curriculum that meets or exceeds requirements established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot, and recommendations on implementing this program statewide. This effort is being pursued in partnership with the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s Healthcare Workforce Pilot Project Office and, if approved, will permit the Department of Public Health to test this new category of healthcare worker.
Master Plan for Aging Initiatives
The 2021 release of the Master Plan for Aging includes initiatives that seek to improve workforce conditions when working with older adults. The plan outlines Goal 4: “Caregiving that Works” and the effort to create 1 million high quality caregiving jobs over the next 10 years. In 2021, the plan calls for convening a “Direct Care Workforce Solutions Table” to address the workforce needs in the state’s skilled nursing facilities. The plan also calls for expanding the caregiver pipeline including advancing a universal home care worker.
LeadingAge California is actively engaged in these conversations and will work to advance ideas that improve the workforce under the Master Plan for Aging initiatives.
LeadingAge California 2021 Education Initiatives
LeadingAge California has partnered with Unitek Learning to create a career pathway that will 1) allow employees to obtain an education while working at provider communities; and 2) give employees the opportunity to advance their careers. This flexible solution allows provider employees the ability to retain and promote employees within. Additionally, the Career Ladder model includes an outreach program that begins at the high school level to create a pipeline of employees in the field. The model begins at the High School level to CNA, to LVN, to RN – a career ladder to help fill the gap in this much-needed workforce.
LeadingAge California will develop an Advanced Leadership Training that will create the next generation of leaders at all levels of housing, care, and services for older adults, and provide progressive, accessible education to meet 21st Century demands. (Navigate the Future, Strategic Plan 2019-2022)
The EMERGE 2.0 program will specifically target senior leaders including Executive Directors, Vice Presidents, Administrators, and C-Suite. The content will focus on more advanced administration topics such as:
- Management and Leadership (Board, bylaws, regulations, risk management, compliance, strategic planning, mission/vision/values setting, brand, leadership communications development)
- Finance (budgeting, fundraising, GAAP, state/federal rules and regulations)
- Human Resources (employee recruitment, selection, retention, policies & procedures)
- Environment (infection control, federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations)
- Customer Care, Supports, and Services (basic principles of clinical care, community, ethics, government programs and entities, interpersonal relationships)