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At hearing, Casey touted his new Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act

Casey heard testimony from long-term care workers about the caregiving crisis and the need for federal support

Watch full hearing video here

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) held a hearing entitled, The Long-Term Care Workforce: Addressing Shortages and Improving the Profession. The hearing examined the challenges currently facing American long-term care workers, who are often underpaid and overworked, leading to widespread worker shortages that threaten the availability of care for those who need it. At the hearing, Casey touted his new Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, which will tackle the caregiving crisis by significantly bolstering the long-term care workforce, providing resources to ensure that caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career.

“Today’s hearing showed that we have a crisis of caregiving in this country, and it’s a crisis that stems largely from a lack of support for and investment in our caregiving workforce,” said Chairman Casey. “We cannot say we are the greatest country in the world if we do not have the greatest caregiving in the world. My bill will make the investments that these workers, and the recipients of their care, need and deserve.”

Chairman Casey invited Nicholas Smith, a Philadelphia resident who has worked in the long-term care industry for more than 25 years, to testify. Smith serves as a direct support professional at SPIN, an organization that provides lifespan services for over 3,000 people with intellectual disabilities and autism in Pennsylvania. Smith testified about the challenges faced by long-term care workers, saying, “I work nearly 65-70 hours a week…due to my work, I have missed family events, nieces’ and nephews’ recitals, and school functions…A lot of people are leaving this field to make more money. The national average for direct service professional wages is only $15.43 in long-term care. We spend time training new hires only to lose them because they cannot make a living wage. Other industries are offering more money, and while people want to stay in this field, they cannot make ends meet. Pennsylvania has a long waitlist for home and community-based services, and this is due to the workforce crisis.”

Watch the full hearing here. Read more about the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act here.