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Elder care gets boost

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is one of five states getting a grant to improve the job satisfaction of elder-care workers.

Better Jobs, Better Care, a 42-month national project, aims to improve the recruitment and retention of nursing assistants, home health aides and personal attendants who provide care and support for elderly people with chronic diseases or disabilities.

The North Carolina Foundation for Advanced Health Programs will oversee the $1.2 million project to develop, pilot and put into effect a uniform set of voluntary, statewide criteria and expectations for the workplace.

Long-term care agencies and facilities in many states are experiencing shortages and high turnover rates because the work is physically and emotionally demanding, but yields low pay and benefits.

“The difficulty of recruiting and retaining good direct care workers is already affecting the quality of long-term care in America and unless we carefully examine what works and doesn’t work to address this problem, we will be facing an acute shortage of qualified workers in the near future,” Robyn Stone, director of Better Jobs, Better Care, said in a news release.

Funded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., and The Atlantic Philanthropies in Bermuda, the project also has sites in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Vermont.

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