This work was funded by Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Aging and People with Disabilities (Intergovernmental Agreement #176745).
Long-term care of the sick, Older people -- Care -- Employees -- Interviews -- Oregon, Long-term care facilities, Congregate housing, Group homes for older people -- Oregon – Social aspects, Group homes for older people -- Oregon -- Social aspects
Resident care assistants (e.g., direct care workers, caregivers, personal care aides) provide the majority of services to assisted living, residential care and memory care-endorsed (ALF/RCF) residents. They faced significant burdens during the COVID-19 pandemic, which amplified existing challenges in some ALF/RCF communities, yet little is known about their work experiences. This qualitative study collected data through focus group and individual interviews with 21 resident care assistants and 12 external colleagues who have experience hiring, training or managing resident care assistants and other ALF/RCF staff, including registered nurse consultants, staffing agency operators, state policy staff, ALF/RCF community operations managers, and advocates. The Institute on Aging study team identified nine primary themes based on the 32 interviews. Supporting the resilience and stability of the direct care workforce is a significant public policy concern in Oregon and nationally. Solutions exist at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and policy levels. A multi-level systems approach (e.g., social-ecological approach) is needed to address the challenges and build on the strengths identified in this study.
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Carder, P., Dys, S., Schwartz, L., Jacoby, D., Kohon, J., Himes, D., Fox, M., Elliott, S., & Bouchard, L. (2023). Direct Care Staff Experiences in Oregon Assisted Living, Residential Care and Memory Care Communities, 2022. Portland, OR: Portland State University Institute on Aging.