APPLETON, Wis — There's a problem that's affecting assisted living facilities and nursing homes across Wisconsin. According to a new workforce study there’s a serious shortage of caregivers and it’s projected to get worse.
Providing independence for folks with developmental disabilities and special needs is Agape of Appleton's mission. It's also something that caregiver and case manager Sarah Hippert says requires a lot of work these days.
"The team that I have here is amazing because they are constantly staying longer coming in early just to fill in for the cases that are needed in the house,” says Hippert.
But the shortage of caregivers across Wisconsin is pushing many in this line of work to their limits.
"It's harder to find people that want to do what we do," add Hippert.
According to a new 2020 long term care workforce study, it's been determined that the caregiver profession is in a state of crisis. Lisa Pugh, who is a part of Governor Evers task force on care giving, explains why the state is concerned.
"We are going to need another 20-thousand workers within the next five years and we simply don't have the people," says Pugh.
The workforce study found that nearly 10-thousand caregivers have left the profession since 2019 and that today one in four care giver jobs aren't being filled. Harriet Redman the Executive of Wisconsibs and also a caregiver for her disabled son says the crisis should be a concern for everyone.
"It's scary because then we depend on ourselves, and my husband and I are aging," says Redman.
The real problem is that the issue could get worse, as the percentage of people 85 or older is expected to increase over 100 percent in the next 20 years.