House members request $200 million to increase long-term care, geriatric medicine workforce

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To meet an increasingly urgent need, Congress should earmark $200 million to expand the number of geriatric care workers. This was the case that 26 House members made in a recent letter Appropriations Committee leaders.

With the number of seniors projected to reach 70 million by 2030, an estimated 3.5 million additional healthcare workers will be needed to maintain current levels of access, the legislators wrote.

To help in the recruitment and training of this workforce, $5 million should go specifically toward geriatric nursing programs, they stated. One is the Traineeships for Advanced Practice Nurses program, which supports nurses focusing on long-term care, geropsychiatric nursing and similar specializations.

The biggest request was $155 million, for family caregiver support services. The House members also requested $20 million to facilitate geriatrics education and training throughout the healthcare workforce, including geriatric specialists and non-specialists.

The letter, dated April 4, was circulated by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). It was addressed to Reps. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). They are, respectively, the chairman and ranking member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

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