As the home care industry continues to grow and expand, and even become stronger, it has gained a great deal of attention across many media outlets. Some of the attention is positive and some not so much. While pay and benefits continue to be a pressing issue for many caregivers as well as agencies struggling to maintain consistency of care for its clients, history tells us that, over time, the general public as well as politicians and bureaucrats can become numb to certain issues.
In other words, important factors that may be vital to the integrity of the industry and quality of care that are brought up can also be quickly forgotten if quality resolutions are not reached. That’s why, according to some, stronger advocacy is still necessary for the home health care industry, even though it is still currently the number one job creator in the country.
As noted in the Boston Business Journal editorial, Viewpoint: Home health care needs stronger policy voice, submitted by Ana Veras:
“Massachusetts is No. 1 in the nation when it comes to healthcare, but our state’s home-care industry is ill-equipped to the meet the needs of workers, clients and families. There is little oversight and reporting and accountability standards are weak. Too many home-care agencies skate by without providing adequate training for workers, and without offering high quality care for clients.
A new movement called Healthcare Workers Rising has formed with a simple goal: Strengthen the healthcare industry — especially home care — so it can train workers and pay them fairly, stopping burnout and turnover and providing far better care for our loved ones.”
As some advocates have noted, it is difficult to gain traction in the industry and build a career out of it. That’s because it’s considered a minimum wage job, according to some. Many of the home care aides and providers only receive minimum wage or only slightly more than that, often for backbreaking work and long hours.
Some of these advocates claim they haven’t received a raise in many years, though that may be the case in other job professions as well. These jobs are of vital importance to millions of people around the country. While it may be the number one job creator, stagnant wages, low benefits, and other challenges that are addressed initially, even though they may not be resolved, still need attention, which is where stronger advocacy remains vital.