Wages, Health Benefits and Retention of Direct Care Workers in Long Term Care: A Life Table Approach

Monika Setia, Pennsylvania State University
Peter Kemper, Pennsylvania State University

Higher demand for long term care (LTC) due to aging population and less availability of informal caregivers due to changing family structures has increased the demand for formal caregiving through direct care workers (DCWs). However, there are problems with high turnover among these workers causing problems with managing demand for care. Various factors, including low wages and restricted health benefits have been cited as the reasons for high turnover. This paper utilizes multi-state period life tables to assess if the enhancement of wages and/or provision of health benefits at specific lengths of employment modify turnover pattern of DCWs. The study uses the data collected as part of a demonstration project – better jobs better care (BJBC) - implemented by 128 LTC organizations, with the goal of improving retention of DCWs. The research contributes by evaluating the effectiveness of wage increases and health benefit offers for DCWs based on tenure while developing job retention measures.

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Presented in Poster Session 4