The Eldercare Workforce Alliance Applauds Congress for Supporting Funds to Strengthen Eldercare Workforce and Support Family Caregivers
Washington, D.C. – The Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) applauds the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, the omnibus spending bill that included provisions to increase funding for programs designed to increase the number of health care professionals prepared to care for the growing older adult population and support family caregivers in the essential role they play.
With a $2 million increase for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, EWA applauds Congress for increasing the funds to go to such a vital program for the nation’s older adults. EWA will continue to push for $51 million in FY19 to be able to further expand the program and reestablish the Geriatric Academic Career Awards.
“Our nation faces a severe and growing shortage of eldercare professionals with the skills and training to meet the unique healthcare needs of older adults,” said Amy York, Executive Director of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance. “EWA is committed to advocating for increases to expand programs like the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), the only federal geriatrics training program. That’s an investment in an eldercare workforce that can support well-coordinated, high-quality care for all older Americans.”
Other important increases that EWA has advocated for in the FY18 omnibus bill includes a total of $40.7 million in funding for geriatrics education programs, $190 million for programs that support family caregivers, and $2.5 billion to support the research efforts of the National Institute on Aging.
The latest data shows that family caregivers across America provided more than 40.3 billion hours of unpaid care at an estimated value of $450 billion. By 2030, the number of older Americans will increase by 77 percent to nearly 71 million. We must act now to prepare the health care workforce and to support family caregivers.