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New Personal Care Attendant Program to Address Growing Shortage of Direct Care Professionals for Long Term Care Providers

Posted Apr 7, 20203 min Read


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2020) – The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL) is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative, Indiana’s Caring Heroes Program, to address the growing shortage of direct care professionals amid the COVID-19 crisis.

IHCA/INCAL has launched a recruitment effort for the new Indiana’s Caring Heroes Program to target individuals, including the hard-hit restaurant and lodging industries, who could be hired by nursing homes for the newly created positions. At a time when so many employers are leaving furloughed workers without a source of income, these positions can fill that gap while enabling the new recruits to begin path toward a promising health care career.

“This program addresses critical staff shortages during a time of tremendous need at nursing homes while creating new job opportunities for Hoosiers who may be looking for work,” said IHCA/INCAL President, Zach Cattell. “Our members will provide the necessary training, and our dedicated new Personal Care Attendants can be helping older residents in their daily routines.”

IHCA/INCAL brought the idea for the new Personal Care Attendant (PCA) position to the Indiana State Health Department (ISDH) and the agency quickly approved the program on a temporary basis, currently through May 1 but with flexibility to extend it if necessary. The goal of the program is to encourage individuals serving in these positions to consider career advancement in the long term care profession beyond the current emergency situation.

ISDH approved the Personal Care Attendant Program to provide nursing homes with additional staff to care for residents during the current state of emergency and to train new workers to obtain the skills necessary to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Personal Care Attendants will support existing CNAs by performing such duties as making up beds, checking residents’ temperatures, making sure residents have fresh ice water, transferring residents to wheelchairs, helping residents get dressed or use the bathroom, and providing bed baths.

“The individuals we hire into Indiana’s Caring Heroes program will be true heroes, helping our overburdened staff while making a direct impact on the lives of residents – helping calm their fears, holding their hands through the tough times, sharing their stories,” Cattell said.

IHCA/INCAL member centers are experiencing direct care staff vacancies for important positions that are vital to properly caring for the elderly residents. Newly hired Personal Care Attendants would be required to complete state and employer mandated pre-screenings and an eight-hour training and would then be ready to begin working with nursing staff and residents.

To learn more about Indiana’s Caring Heroes Program, including a Personal Care Attendant job description and an opportunity to share your information with skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities hiring PCAs, visit

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IHCA/INCAL is the state’s largest trade association and advocacy group representing for-profit and not- for-profit nursing homes, as well as assisted living communities and independent living. The association provides education, information, and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of its more than 446-member facilities.

About the Author

Deeksha Kapoor, Director of Communications