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Examining Competencies for the Long-Term Care Workforce: A Status Report and Next Steps

Publication Date

The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of workforce competencies that have been identified for professionals who work in long-term care settings. This is provided through examination of basic roles and responsibilities of professionals and options presently available for specialization, an analysis of the long-term care workforce literature, and identification of initiatives launched by professional associations and providers to determine progress in defining the competencies needed by this vital workforce. Additionally, the paper attempts to examine whether the competencies are the same or different from what is needed to care for the geriatric population in acute and ambulatory care settings. Although individuals of all ages have disabilities that require long-term care services, this paper will focus primarily on providers who serve long-term care needs of the older population, and excludes competencies required in caring for younger individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities. A majority of available literature is confined to the nursing home workforce, but where the literature is informative, attention is also devoted to the competencies needed by professionals employed in other long-term care settings. [41 PDF pages]