Quality of long-term care is significantly influenced by the attributes long-term care workers bring to their jobs, the education and training they receive, and the quality of their jobs. The attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge of these workers, how they are compensated and rewarded, and the way their jobs are organized and managed, all help to determine quality of care and life outcomes. The quality of the long-term care workforce, not just the quantity, needs to be addressed in long-term care policy debates. Workforce development activities designed to increase the capacity of these individuals to participate effectively in long-term care settings should be integrated into long-term care quality improvement and assurance initiatives.
Robyn I. Stone, DrPH, is a noted researcher and nationally recognized authority on long-term care and aging policy. She has held senior research and policy positions in both the US government and the private sector and is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for the Future of Aging Services within the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Washington, DC.
Steven L. Dawson, MA, is President of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, New York, NY, a national health care employment, training, and policy nonprofit organization based in the South Bronx, NY. He helped develop and oversees the National Clearinghouse on the Direct Care Workforce and has authored several publications on lowwage and health care employment issues.
Mary F. Harahan, BS, has worked on long-term care policy and research issues for almost 3 decades as a senior executive in the US Department of Health and Human Services' policy research office and, since 1999, as a consultant with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for the Future of Aging Services, Washington, DC.
Address correspondence to: Robyn I. Stone, DrPH, Institute for the Future of Aging Services, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, 2519 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20015. E-mail: email@example.com.