The number of Americans over age 65 is expected to reach 70 million by 2030, representing a 71% increase from today’s 41 million older adults. That is why Title VII and Title VIII geriatrics programs and Administration on Aging (AoA) programs that support family caregivers are so critical to ensure that there is a skilled eldercare workforce and knowledgeable, well-supported family caregivers available to meet the complex and unique needs of older adults.
We hope Congress will support a total of $47.4 million in funding for geriatrics programs in Title VII and Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act and $173 million in funding for programs administered by the Administration on Aging that support the vital role of family caregivers in providing care for older adults.
TITLE VII GERIATRICS HEALTH PROFESSIONS ($42.4 million)
Title VII Geriatrics Health Professions programs are the only federal programs that increase the number of faculty with geriatrics expertise in a variety of disciplines who provide training in clinical geriatrics, including the training of interdisciplinary teams of health professionals. These offer critically important geriatrics training to the entire healthcare workforce. These programs include:
Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACA):
This program promotes the development of academic clinician educators in geriatrics. In the Academic Year 2011-2012, the GACA program funded 66 full-time junior faculty. These awardees delivered over 1,000 interprofessional continuing education courses specific to geriatric-related topics to over 44,000 students and providers. Collectively, awardees of the program provided a total of 32,000 hours of instruction through continuing education courses. Additionally, they provided 4,700 clinical trainings to providers of many professions and disciplines throughout the academic year. $5.5 million request
Geriatric Training Program for Physicians, Dentists, and Behavioral and Mental Health Professions:
This program supports interprofessional training designed to develop additional faculty in medicine, dentistry, and behavioral and mental health so that they have the expertise, skills and knowledge to teach geriatrics and gerontology to the next generation of health professionals in their disciplines. In Academic Year 2011-2012, a total of 63 physicians – including psychiatrists-, dentists, and psychologists, were supported through this fellowship program. During that year alone, fellows provided geriatric care to older adults on 23,358 occasions. $8.9 million request
Geriatric Education Centers (GEC):
GECs provide quality interdisciplinary geriatric education and training to practicing health care professionals of multiple disciplines, health care professions students. In Academic Year 2011-2012, the 45 GEC grantees developed and provided over 4,100 continuing education and clinical training offerings to nearly 80,000 health professionals, students, faculty, and practitioners, significantly exceeding the program’s performance target. Three quarters of the continuing education offerings were interprofessional in focus. Of the sites that offered clinical training sessions, almost 75% of these sites were in a medically underserved community and/or Health Professional Shortage Area. $22.7 million request
Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention, Education, and Outreach Program (GECs):
These funds, included in the President’s FY2014 budget request, will allow HRSA to expand efforts to provide training to healthcare providers on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, utilizing the already existing Geriatric Education Centers (GECs). $5.3 million request
TITLE VIII GERIATRICS NURSING WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS ($5 million)
These programs, are the primary source of federal funding for advanced education nursing, workforce diversity, nursing faculty loan programs, nurse education, practice and retention, comprehensive geriatric education, loan repayment, and scholarship.
Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program:
This program provides quality geriatric education to individuals caring for the elderly and supports additional training for nurses who care for the elderly; development and dissemination of curricula relating to geriatric care; and training of faculty in geriatrics. It also provides continuing education for nurses practicing in geriatrics. In Academic Year 2011-2012, a total of 18 Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program (CGEP) grantees provided a variety of services, including over 1,700 hours of instruction to over 8,200 trainees. This program supports additional training for nurses who care for the elderly; development and dissemination of curricula relating to geriatric care; training of faculty in geriatrics; and continuing education for nurses practicing in geriatrics. $5 million request
Traineeships for Advanced Practice Nurses:
Through the Affordable Care Act, the Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program is being expanded to include advanced practice nurses who are pursuing long-term care, geropsychiatric nursing or other nursing areas that specialize in care of elderly.
FAMILY CAREGIVER SUPPORT ($172.9 million)
These programs support caregivers, elders, and people with disabilities by providing critical respite care and other support services for family caregivers, training and recruitment of care workers and volunteers, information and outreach, counseling, and other supplemental services.
Family Caregiver Support Services:
This program provides a range of support services to approximately 700,000 family and informal caregivers annually in States, including counseling, respite care, training, and assistance with locating services that assist family and informal caregivers in caring for their loved ones at home for as long as possible. $154.5 million request
This program provides a range of services to Native American caregivers, including information and outreach, access assistance, individual counseling, support groups and training, respite care and other supplemental services. $6.4 million request
One critical focus of this program is to support the family caregivers who provide countless hours of unpaid care, thereby enabling their family members with dementia to continue living in the community. Funds will go towards evidence-based interventions and expand the dementia-capable home and community-based services, enabling additional older adults to live in their residence of choice. $9.5 million request
This program funds grants to improve the quality of and access to respite care for family caregivers of children or adults of any age with special needs. $2.5 million request
TAKING A BALANCED APPROACH
The Eldercare Workforce Alliance urges Congress and the President to take a balanced approach to addressing our nation’s deficit that protects our nation’s most vulnerable and invests in our country’s future by supporting proposals that would provide adequate funding to protect care for older adults and to ensure a health care workforce with the skills needed to meet their needs.
The positions of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance reflect a consensus of 75 percent or more of its members. Statements reflect the consensus of the Alliance and do not necessarily represent the position of individual Alliance member organizations.