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Wall Street Journal Reports on Nursing Home Staffing Shortages and Injury Rates

April 15, 2013

The aging baby boomer generation will not receive adequate care unless steps are taken to cultivate a stable direct-care workforce, the Wall Street Journal reported on April 15.

The front-page article (subscription required) cites the low pay, high stress levels, and high injury rates as the primary factors contributing to instability among the direct-care workforce.

The article, written by reporter James R. Hagerty, notes that the annual turnover rate among direct-care workers could be as high as 75 percent.

According to PHI Policy Research Director Dorie Seavey, the costs associated with direct-care turnover are approximately $6.3 billion a year, Hagerty writes. 

“Seavey…says better pay and working conditions for aides would reduce turnover and workers’ compensation claims for injuries,” the article says.

PHI research shows that the occupational grouping “nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants” earns a median wage of $11.63 an hour. Home health aides and personal care aides, meanwhile, make just $9.91 and $9.49 an hour, respectively.

— by Matthew Ozga

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