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UWEC initiative to meet needs of growing senior care industry

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:04 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -More than 54 million Americans are older than 65 according to 2019 census estimates which means the need for caregivers is growing.

Charlotte Moore is the owner of Moore Genuine Care in Augusta.

It’s an assisted living, nursing care and home health care company.

She said there was already a need in the senior care industry before the pandemic.

“There’s just a generalized nationwide shortage all the way around,” Moore said. “I have staff that are working many hours of overtime to cover the shortage.”

The nature of senior care is also changing with demand for more home-based options.

“The elderly and individuals who require help want to stay in their homes longer,” Moore said. “They don’t want to go to the nursing homes. They want to stay home which is where everyone wants to be.”

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is leading a national program meant to address the evolving needs of senior care in the nation.

Called Vision 2025, its focus is to get more students into the health care administration side of the industry.

The initiative’s director and UWEC professor Doug Olson said stable leadership in senior care administration is one way to do this.

“If you have strong, capable, competent leaders, your chances of attracting more staff and professionals and actually other people working in the field is going to be better,” Olson said.

UW-Eau Claire’s senior care administration program has around 60 graduates a year.

Other, similar programs in the nation have about 10.

Vision 2025 hopes to help 25 other universities and colleges develop their programs in order to more than double the number of graduates each year.

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