The leaders of the state’s nonprofit organizations say they are facing a “critical” shortage of workers as the need for personal care aides and home health aides is expected to grow by 70% in the next 10 years. Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) provides help for people in a variety of areas, and is one of the organization’s facing a worker shortage.
Bill Kallestad is LSI’s director of services for people with disabilities. He says a lot of people with disabilities are choosing to stay at home with their families instead of moving into a residential home because of the community support.
“We’re looking to provide community-based services that provided supports for them to live a productive life and things like that,” he explains. Kallestad says they are facing a couple of issues in filling the positions.
“One is turnover, because it’s a stressful job and there’s a high demand of need there. The second is, finding qualified caregivers, sometimes the demand outreaches the supply and ability to keep and retain staff. And so currently in our community-based services, we have a lot of families that go with a little less service or quite a bit less service than maybe they would prefer,” Kallestad says.
He says it can be a good job for the right person, and he says the increasing demand provides job stability. “I think the first thing is, you need to want to do the job and want to help somebody. That’s usually the first part of it,” Kallestad explains.
“And even if they are interested,we have a lot of ways to kind of acclimate people, or get more experience before they are starting in the field.” Kallestad encourages you to check with service providers and explore the opportunities, and one way is to check LSI’s website.
The website is www.LSIowa.org, and you can use the interactive employment area. “I think the second thing is during that opportunity, we have some contact names there were you can reach out to our staff office and connect with them and maybe come and shadow and see what we are doing for the jobs, and talking to people who are actually doing the job,” Kallestad says.
LSI has over 20 offices in the state.