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The legislature finds that the aging of the population and advanced medical technology have resulted in a growing number of persons who require assistance. The primary resource for long-term care continues to be family and friends. However, these traditional caregivers are increasingly employed outside the home. There is a growing demand for improvement and expansion of home and community-based long-term care services to support and complement the services provided by these informal caregivers.
The legislature further finds that the public interest would best be served by a broad array of long-term care services that support persons who need such services at home or in the community whenever practicable and that promote individual autonomy, dignity, and choice.
The legislature finds that as other long-term care options become more available, the relative need for nursing home beds is likely to decline. The legislature recognizes, however, that nursing home care will continue to be a critical part of the state's long-term care options, and that such services should promote individual dignity, autonomy, and a homelike environment.
The legislature finds that many recipients of in-home services are vulnerable and their health and well-being are dependent on their caregivers. The quality, skills, and knowledge of their caregivers are often the key to good care. The legislature finds that the need for well-trained caregivers is growing as the state's population ages and clients' needs increase. The legislature intends that current training standards be enhanced.
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