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News and updates on DHS efforts that support seniors.

Aging, disability, mental health groups gathering to discuss workforce shortage 

A wide array of some 200 stakeholders will explore solutions to increase the number of paid helpers for older adults and people with disabilities Tuesday, July 26, at the Direct Care/Support Workforce Summit.   The invitational event, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and nearly 30 other Minnesota organizations, will bring together workers, people who receive services, service providers and representatives of  labor, health care, higher education and state and local units of government to address a shortage in the direct care and direct support workforce. 

People receiving services and service providers already are reporting a shortage of workers for older adults and people with disabilities. Nearly 60,000 additional positions will need to be filled in Minnesota in the next four years, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, because of an increase in Minnesota’s older population, more people wanting care and support at home and more people with disabilities being supported to live and work in their communities.

The summit will begin a conversation about increasing the number of people who are paid to help people in their own homes, group homes, nursing homes, assisted living and other settings. Solutions related to compensation, recruitment, retention, technology, quality, credentialing and career ladders all will be explored.

While participation is limited for the July 26 summit, people interested in the issue can write to to receive updates and a summary of the solutions identified, as well as be informed about how to join workgroups that may be formed as a result of the event.

A list of organizations participating in the event (PDF) is on the DHS website.

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