Being a home care aide is not likely ever going to be an easy job. It is often physically exhausting. It can also be emotionally challenging and mentally draining. At the end of a long day, many home care aides return to their own families completely worn out. Pay is considered relatively low, and there have been efforts of late to help increase wages, salaries, and benefits for these dedicated workers.
However, many of the workers stepping up to take these open positions in the home care industry are immigrants who have come to the United States in pursuit of better opportunities and a better life compared to what they had previously. One thing that often draws people into this industry, besides a sincere desire to help those in need, is the relatively low experience requirements.
As reported in The Boston Globe article, The US has a huge need for home health care, and many from Ghana do the hard work, written by Linda Matchan:
“People like [Rita] Sarpong are the backbone of one of the country’s fastest-growing and least-regulated industries, doing the important, if unglamorous, low-paid work of caring for people who can no longer care for themselves. The workers are overwhelmingly female and almost 50 percent foreign-born. In Massachusetts, a striking number of them emigrated from Ghana, hoping to earn enough to help support often desperate families back home and forming a trans-Atlantic economic pipeline from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States.
It is draining work, but a draw to newcomers because jobs are so plentiful and the professional requirements so few.”
Because the home care industry is the leading job creator in the United States right now, and with demand expected to outstrip the number of available caregivers, it’s only going to increase the opportunities. However, there are no universal oversight, regulations, or licensure throughout the country.
That means almost anyone who is looking for a job and has the desire to do this type of work will likely find an opportunity. Even those without legal documentation to work in the United States can often find opportunities, either independently or through agencies not so concerned about background screening, protecting their clients, laws, or integrity.
Home care agencies that are dedicated to truly offering their clients the best possible care and support will seek out the best workers, but with limited reimbursement through Medicaid and other financial resources, it becomes overwhelmingly challenging to offer more wages, which continues to limit the labor pool. With little to no experience required, it’s one of the first options immigrants may find for work in this country, and yet it remains one of the most important for disabled and aging Americans to date.