Ensuring a stable long-term care workforce is one of the best budget decisions we can make.
Home care workers in Washington State care for more than 60,000 elderly and adults with disabilities by providing an array of services that meet non-medical and basic health needs. By financing in-home care for the most vulnerable among us, Washington State saves nearly $3,000 annually on every person receiving home care and enables thousands of Washingtonians the ability to live with dignity.
Financing Long-Term Care Services
Investing in home care now helps Washington State prepare for the growing demand for health and basic services as the Baby Boomer generation ages. The care delivered by long-term care workers is essential to maintaining the overall health and well-being of Washington’s aging population and residents living with disabilities.
The 2017 Individual Provider Contract with Agency Parity
Funding the Individual Provider contract with parity for agency home care is a significant step in averting the long-term staffing and budget crisis that is anticipated to occur by 2040.
Our new IP contract will establish a foundation for paying living wages, encouraging community-based care, and improving caregiving services through additional professional training and funding for critical safety equipment.
Supporting the Long-term Care Workforce
According to a Fall 2016 report entitled, Raising Incomes for Home Care Workers Would Boost Economy by the Washington State Budget Policy and Center, the average home care worker earns about $12.81 an hour, which equates to $10,540 annually. These wage levels have created an economic barrier for thousands of caregivers that prevents them reinvesting earnings back into small businesses and their communities.
“Too many long-term care workers are living below the federal poverty level while working full-time. Most do not make a living wage.”
Our new IP contract includes a phased-in increase to living wages for all caregivers, which will lead to higher job satisfaction rates and lower turnover. Supporting better wages and benefits for caregivers will strengthens the workforce, making it easier for the growing number of senior to find quality long-term care service providers in the state.