The Wisconsin Personal Services Association (WPSA) is celebrating National Caregivers Day
by recognizing the important work of the more than 63,000 personal care aides employed in our state who make it possible for older adults and people with disabilities to live in their own homes.
“Every day in Wisconsin—whether it’s the middle of the night or the break of dawn—personal care workers show up for people in need of care. This morning, thousands of people were able to get out of bed, take a bath, get dressed and go to work because of a personal care worker,” said WPSA President Amy Weiss.
Personal care workers provide in-home supports that are designed to help older adults and people with disabilities complete activities of daily living, allowing them to remain independent in their own homes. They are the backbone of our state’s long-term care system.
Unfortunately, a combination of historical underfunding and exponentially increasing demand for services has led to a crisis-level shortage of personal care workers that is leaving people with disabilities and older adults without access to needed care. An April 2019 survey by WPSA found that: 60% of agencies are considering no longer providing Medicaid personal care services; and 100% of WPSA agencies have had to turn away clients during the past year.
While Governor Tony Evers and leaders in the Wisconsin State Legislature approved a historic increase to personal care funding in the most recent state budget, stakeholders must continue to work together to ensure ongoing access to cost-effective in-home care.
“WPSA is hopeful that the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving will provide short-term and
long-term solutions to the crisis facing our state, including plans to address worker training, regulatory reform and better wages and benefits for workers,” said Weiss.