AUGUSTA – The priority for the state’s Long-Term Care Workforce Commission is looking out for caregivers statewide.
On Thursday, the commission heard arguments from providers, caregivers, and state healthcare officials involved in the long-term healthcare field.
“We certainly need to do more as a state and as a country to make sure these people are getting paid what they deserve for these jobs, receiving a career ladder so that there are ways for them to move up, make sure that the training they receive is of high quality and to make sure that society really values them for the incredible care they provide to our fellow Mainers,” Commission Chairwoman Erin Herbig said.
The main issue officials laid out for the commission to focus on is that people with intellectual disabilities and autism are losing services due to a severe workforce crisis, meaning the caregivers and the ones who need the care are suffering.
Herbig said this is an issue that affects everyone.
“At some point at all of our lifetimes, we are going to need long term care because we are all getting older. Certain families have more of those challenges because of an adult with an intellectual disability or a physical disability. This is a level of care that is going to touch our lives in some way — if not ourselves –personally at some point,” she said
The commission’s final meetings are set for Nov. 19 and Dec. 10.
After that, Herbig said she and her colleagues will make recommendations to the legislature to create laws to help solve this issue.