1. Caregivers must at the very least be paid the federal minimum wage…Anything less is inhumane…

  2. When the industry hires high school girls or people who have no training to do the work of people who should be "Professional" caregivers and have the knowledge on how to handle residents and patients with Alzheimer's or Dementia, and other problems that only "Professionals" can give the proper care for, and then on top of that pay them nothing that would be considered a living wage, what do you expect to happen?

    There is absolutely no doubt that the industry needs "Professional" people who have gone through a training program on how to manage a patient with these mind altering diseases, and seniors who have other problems that need a "Professional" But of course these training programs cost money, the Caregivers hired cannot be high school girls who have no idea on what their doing or even care for that matter, because they are going to leave you the first chance they get to move on.

    This dilemma between pay and knowledge needs to be addressed if we are ever going to deliver the quality of care we say we are going to provide.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have been in an Independent Living, Assisted Living facility or a Nursing Home where I have seen care so shabbily delivered it should be considered a dereliction of duty to keep this business model going. If your only goal is to keep a warm body on your staff to lure a potential resident into your facility, then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    With the coming boom of seniors in the next 20 to 40 years, this industry is going to change, weather we like it or not, those who realize this and address it with some out of the box thinking are going to be the ones who prosper, and the rest will go by the wayside, and deservedly so.

    "While business owners say they would love to be in a position to increase pay, there is “no clear path” toward higher wages because of cutbacks in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, both of which are main sources of operators’ revenue."

    This is true, but this is also where the out of the box thinking comes in, if you are just going to sit back and cry about the cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, then you will lose. This was coming and we all should have seen it coming, but no one to my knowledge did a single thing about it.

    Hiring "Professional” Caregivers and paying a living wage is the only answer to this problem, now let sit down and work on how to pay for it, as an industry, if we work together we can do it. We are not stupid people, there are a lot of variables in this situation, there is also a lot of people with ideas on how to come together to solve this problem.

    Joe Lucido
    Alzheimer's Research Association <a href="” target=”_blank”>