AUGUSTA, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – With a growing aging population in the U.S., there’s also a growing need for people to enter the senior care industry. UW-Eau Claire is leading a program aimed at doing just that. First News at Nine’s Maria Blough explains.
More than 54 million Americans are older than 65, according to 2019 census estimates, which means the need for caregivers is growing. Charlotte Moore is the owner of Moore Genuine Care in Augusta. It’s an assisted living, nursing care, and home health care company. She says there was already a need in the senior care industry before the pandemic.
Charlotte Moore of Moore Genuine Care said, “There’s just a generalized nationwide shortage all the way around. I have staff that are working many hours of overtime to cover the shortage.”
The nature of senior care is also changing to be more home-based.
“The elderly and individuals who require help want to stay in their homes longer. They don’t want to go to the nursing homes. They want to stay home which is where everyone wants to be,” said Moore,
UW-Eau Claire is leading a national program meant to address the evolving needs of senior care in the nation. Called vision 20-25.Its focus is to get more students into the health care administration side of the industry.
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The Initiative’s Director Doug Olson says stable leadership in senior care administration is one way to do this.
“If you have strong, capable, competent leaders, your chances of attracting more staff and professionals and actually other people working in the field is going to be better,” said Olson.
UW-Eau Claire’s senior care administration program has around 60 graduates a year. Other, similar programs in the nation have about 10.
Vision 20-25 hopes to help 25 other universities and colleges develop their programs in order to more than double the number of graduates each year.
In Eau Claire, Maria Blough, First News at Nine.