‘The Devil Is In The Details’: Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act Is Introduced

A group of policymakers has introduced legislation aimed at strengthening the long-term care workforce.

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act was introduced on Tuesday by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), along with Sens. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.).

The impetus behind the bill is the instability in the caregiver workforce, which is the result of high demand, but low wages.


The median annual income for direct care workers checks in at about $23,688.

Additionally, home care workers bring in a median annual income of $20,599, according to PHI.

The bill would provide new funding to support workers across assisted living facilities, nursing homes and home-based care.


“We have a crisis of caregiving in this country, and it’s a crisis that stems largely from a lack of support for and investment in our caregiving workforce,” Casey said in a press statement. “We cannot claim to be the greatest country in the world if we do not have the greatest caregiving in the world. We need to invest in these workers not just to ensure that caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career, but to improve the quality and availability of care for all who need it.”

The bill has a set of goals, which includes increasing the number of direct care professionals; improving compensation for direct care professionals; improving worker safety; improving access to care and much more.

In response to the legislation, LeadingAge has offered proposals to improve the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act.

“If policymakers and other stakeholders are truly serious about addressing the chronic shortages that all care providers serving older adults – including our mission-driven, nonprofit members – are forced to navigate, bold, creative action on multiple fronts is needed,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, said in a press release. “With the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, Senators Casey, Kaine, and Baldwin take a big step in the right direction. However, as experienced advocates with a rich history in helping to craft laws and regulations regarding the financing and delivery of long-term services and supports, we can say with confidence that the devil is truly in the details.”

Washington, D.C.-based LeadingAge is an association of more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and organizations.

When it comes to strengthening the long-term care workforce, Sloan believes that policymakers should focus on funding for education and training initiatives, and investing in the infrastructure to build a substantial workforce.

LeadingAge also recommends that states create a plan that details how they plan to sustain higher caregiver wages after federal funding ends, that there be a dedicated funds to clearing waiting lists and more.

Companies featured in this article: