Due to demographic shifts and evolving healthcare needs, the Center for Excellence in Aging & Longevity (CEAL) has prioritized innovative solutions for workforce partnerships. Working collaboratively with educators, healthcare providers, policy makers, and community-based organizations is essential to increasing and retaining the direct care workforce.
PHI, the nation’s leading expert on the direct care workforce, provides an annual snapshot including demographics, job quality challenges, and projected job openings.
About 4.7 million direct care workers support older adults and individuals with disabilities. The direct care workforce is projected to add 1.2 million jobs in the next 10 years, more new jobs that any other single occupation. However, there are projected to be 7.9 million total direct care worker job openings in the same period due to high rates of turnover and changes in the labor force.
In May 2023, CEAL launched the San Diego Caregiver Connections (SDCC) initiative, a comprehensive program dedicated to enhancing the lives of caregivers. Our goal is to empower both paid and family caregivers through a range of support services, including free training, peer support, and career pathways.
Our innovative model is driven by a commitment to inclusivity, reaching out to diverse, low-income, multilingual, and under-resourced communities. We recognize many caregivers face significant obstacles, such as limited access to training resources, language options, technology, and educational opportunities.
SDCC addresses these challenges and strengthens the workforce pipeline by providing:
- More than 50 hours of free online and in-person training courses designed to empower caregivers by improving knowledge, confidence, and self-care strategies.
- A strong network of peers with shared experience who can provide emotional support, advice, empowerment, problem-solving skills, and resources.
- Career pathways for family caregivers interested in becoming an IHSS worker, home health aide, certified nursing assistant, or similar roles in the health care field.
Key highlights of the SDCC program include:
- A fully translated Spanish platform with more than 30 hours of training including person-centered care, emergency preparedness, and managing stress.
- Online training includes subtitles in Spanish, Farsi, Vietnamese, Russian, and Korean.
- More than 20 hours of Teepa Snow Dementia Care training courses.
- Evaluation and feedback for ongoing program improvement.
- 15-hour training track specifically designed to provide support and professional development for Direct Support Professionals who work with adults with intellectual and/or development disabilities.
- Determined Health
- Glenner Family Centers
- Stepping Higher, Inc.
- County of San Diego IHSS Public Authority