Sen. Schachtner Appointed to Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving
(MADISON) – Today, Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) was appointed to Governor Tony Evers’ Task Force on Caregiving which was created in February of this year through Executive Order #11. The Senator will join other members of the Legislature and caregiving specialists, employers, and providers on the Governor’s Task Force that will focus on exploring and developing solutions to the long-term and direct care workforce shortages in Wisconsin.
According to AARP Public Policy Institute's 2015 report, Wisconsin caregivers provided $7 billion in unpaid care working 538 million hours in 2013. Those staggering numbers are only slated to increase as Wisconsin’s populations continues to age and require more care. It's estimated that by 2030, more than 20% of the population in every Wisconsin county will be over the age of 60.
“I am committed to tackling the caregiver workforce shortage that is impacting the people in our area. As our population ages, it’s important to prepare for the increased demand for long-term care services. Currently, challenges faced by nursing home facilities and our caregivers ignite questions about where we are, where we are headed, and where we need to be,” said Senator Schachtner.
According to a 2017 report, the starting home care wage in rural towns is $8.60, which only totals $17,200 a year assuming full-time employment. That wage is lower than pay in other industries and lower than pay in Minnesota, which helps explain why, increasingly, caregivers in northwestern Wisconsin are leaving the profession or working across the river. A 2018 report also estimates 16,500 current vacancies across the state’s long-term care facilities and notes a significant decline in newcomers to the direct care workforce.