Subsidizing low-wage caregivers at group homes would likely reduce worker turnover rates and help contain costs at long-term care facilities, according to new University of Illinois research.
The research determined that a government-sponsored wage-subsidy program could reduce turnover rates by a third.
While the study only considered group homes for the developmentally disabled, researcher Professor Elizabeth T. Powers says the conclusion is applicable to other facilities such as nursing homes and daycare centers.
“We’re looking now at nursing homes, and the turnover rates for nurses’ aides are very similar to what we found for the direct services provider position at the Illinois group homes,” said Powers.
“With the demographic shift and the looming elder-care crisis, questions about how to deliver long-term care efficiently and with the best quality are going to naturally cause people to take a closer look at the role of the hands-on workers in the system,” she said. “Essentially, these workers are the product these facilities are selling. If clients constantly have workers who don’t know them and their likes and dislikes helping them with their daily activities, they’re not going to perceive it as a high quality experience.”
The research was published online in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies.