GAO Recommends Better Federal Data Collection about Workforce Providing Direct Care to Elderly

September 23, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Millions of elderly individuals rely on direct care workers to provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing and eating, but insufficient data are available to project future workforce needs and planning, according to an August 2016 report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report defines "direct care workers" as nursing assistants and home health, psychiatric, and personal care aides who provide long-term services and support. While some data on direct care workers who provide long-term care have been compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), it is unclear to what extent the data include information about direct care workers employed directly by the individuals for whom they provide care.

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