It’s been said that journalism today is no longer the same as it was just a few decades ago. Taking a closer look and dissecting the various reports from so-called journalists may very well support that claim. The home care industry, as a whole, has been lambasted, ridiculed, mocked and belittled, and while the intentions of some of these reporters has been to shed light on a serious problem, it can create an even bigger issue for seniors and disabled adults who may feel they have no other choice than to just struggle on their own.
In far too many cases recently, news agencies have been painting the entire industry with a broad brush, making it appear as though neglect, abuse, and other serious criminal behavior infects and affects every single agency and caregiver who is out there trying to help those in need. Some of these reports also make it sound as though owners of home care agencies are greedy cantankerous curmudgeons who have no intention or desire to pay the aides who work directly with clients a “fair wage.”
It’s important for agencies and other home care organizations to respond directly to unflattering or broad-brush reporting. In this day and age, can this type of reporting even be considered journalism? That is a topic for another debate, but in response to a WBUR audio segment with a Boston Globe reporter that discussed the tepid state of home health care throughout the region, directly questioning the integrity of organizations like Mass Health Care and the Home Care Aide Council, these organizations responded with a statement, published by WBUR in a short blog, Growing Fast, But Largely Unregulated: The State Of Home Health Care:
“Mass. Home Care and Home Care Aide Council released a statement in response to the Globe’s stories on Friday, saying the stories “painted the entire industry with a broad brush, casting an extremely confusing and frightening picture of both the industry and the close to 100,000 home care aides providing care to individuals each and every day.””
Mass. Home Care and Home Care Aide Council took steps in an effort to combat biased reporting and help the general public understand what they offer, what they are attempting to do, and see at least a different perspective than they may be presented otherwise (which is what true journalism should be doing in the first place, otherwise it’s merely opinion pieces).
Other home care agencies may need to ramp up their own efforts to help the general public realize this truly is the best option available, but that doesn’t mean they have to just throw caution to the wind; helping people understand there are good agencies, dedicated caregivers, and men and women who are truly compassionate and care about their best interest are messages that can counter the broad brush mentality of some modern ‘journalism.’