Advocates say a billion dollars (about six percent) of the state’s 17-plus billion-dollar surplus should go to beef-up the wages for senior caregivers.  Kari Thurlow with the Long Term Care Imperative says they’ve been sounding the alarm for years about the workforce crisis in long-term care:

“Seniors were turned away from long term care 11-thousand times in just the month of October — that’s  just in Minnesota, in one month.”

Thurlow says people are ending up staying in hospitals much longer than they would have to because beds in long term care facilities aren’t available.  She says families aren’t getting care for loved ones in their home communities and in the worst case, seniors are going without the care they need.  Thurlow says lawmakers need to step in and make significant  investments.