In early 2019 Governor Evers signed an Executive Order that established a Task Force on Caregiving. The order responds to a looming caregiver crisis in Wisconsin. The number of seniors who need care is skyrocketing, outpacing the pool of caregivers available to help them. Additionally, caregivers earn low wages and get little recognition, which means providers struggle to attract and retain workers.
The task force will address the challenges with a multi-tiered approach:
- Analyzing strategies to attract and retain a strong direct care workforce.
- Supporting families providing care for their loved ones through respite services and other supports.
- Assessing compensation and fringe benefits for caregivers including ways to make healthcare affordable for the caregiving workforce through employer-sponsored plans, Medicaid buy-in plans, or other health insurance coverage options.
- Establishing one or more registries of home care providers and developing a plan to provide referral or matching services for individuals in need of home care.
- Developing a plan to implement recruitment and retention programs to expand the pool or providers.
- Exploring and developing solutions, in collaboration with other relevant departments and agencies to support and strengthen the direct care workforce, increase access, and improve the quality of caregiving in Wisconsin.
The task force has met four times in 2019 with additional meetings scheduled in 2020. The goal of each meeting is to collaboratively address trends and creatively develop solutions.
“Caregivers provide critically important services and are often the unsung heroes, supporting and caring for friends and loved ones so they can stay in their homes and their communities,” said Gov. Evers. “It’s important to me that we recognize, value, and celebrate the work of caregivers across our state, and that we make sure caregivers have the support they need while strengthening and improving access to the direct care workforce in Wisconsin.”
A copy of the governor’s executive order can be found here.