LeadingAge Texas announced a statewide campaign to highlight the positive impact not-for-profit aging services organizations are making in the lives of senior Texans, and their local communities. The campaign, called “Partners in Quality”, will engage elected officials, civic leaders, businesses, religious organizations, and educational institutions, committed to supporting quality aging services in Texas.
“Quality care should be the top priority for every aging services provider in Texas, as well as a top priority for the Texas Legislature, and all Texans,” said George Linial, President of LeadingAge Texas. “One story of abuse and neglect is one too many. We’ve raised standards through increased regulation and penalties to deter chronic bad actors but it is time the profession takes the lead to elevate our message and our field toward something community driven.”
Partners in Quality will highlight the field of aging services through community engagement and meaningful partnerships to educate consumers, community leaders, and students. Several workforce initiatives will display the rewarding opportunities available in aging services including; partnerships with academic institutions to expose students to aging services and rewarding careers in long-term care, a statewide Careers in Aging Services Day, and a Workforce Summit to equip providers with the tools they need to attract future leaders.
Several reports indicate strong ties between adequate staffing and quality care. A 2014 AARP report ranks Texas 50th in nursing home staff turnover. Nearly double the national average at 72 percent. In order to attract qualified professionals into aging services and geriatrics, Texas must invest directly in workforce.
“To become a leader in quality care, the provider community must also demand it. Texas must stop spending on substandard care and start investing in providers dedicated to improving the lives of the people they serve, and their employees,” said Linial.
During the campaign, non-profit aging services organizations across Texas will spread their positive message by working with local media, community leaders, schools, churches, and elected officials. Statewide, LeadingAge Texas will be the collective voice combining these stories and grassroots initiatives to shift public perception and move aging services beyond the negative.
Texas’ older population grew by over 1 million from nearly 2.1 million in 2000, to nearly 3.1 million in 2014. Only California and Florida have larger older populations than Texas. Although Texas is a young state in overall age, projections indicate a continued trend of increased aging populations in Texas. Between 2010 and 2050, those 65 and older are projected to increase by 262 percent, compared with an overall increase in Texas population of 116 percent.
As Linial points out, “LeadingAge Texas members are the leaders, across our state, in protecting and promoting the interests of those that need aging services and supports. Our members provide the full-continuum of care, from independent senior living to hospice, and they all share the same mission-to improve the lives of those they serve.” Partners in Quality will be ongoing this year and will work with local organizations and media throughout Texas.
LeadingAge Texas was established in 1959 as a Texas not-for-profit corporation. Its purpose is to provide leadership, advocacy, and education for 250 not-for-profit retirement housing and nursing home communities that serve the needs of over 30,000 older Texans.
George LinialLeadingAge TexasPresident512firstname.lastname@example.org