Archive for December, 2007

Presidential Candidate Portrays Direct Care Workers as “Emptying Bedpans”

Posted by on December 29th, 2007 at 7:31 am | 11 Comments »

Professional caregivers throughout Iowa have asked Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to retract and clarify a recent statement made on CNN’s Larry King Live. Their letter (see below) has been delivered to the campaign offices of Governor Huckabee and all other Presidential candidates with offices in Iowa.

“The caregivers who sent this letter take pride in their profession, and care deeply about the Iowans that they serve,” says Di Findley, Executive Director of the Iowa CareGivers Association. They hope that Governor Huckabee, and other Presidential candidates, will use this letter as an opportunity to learn more about the work done and challenges faced by professional caregivers, and provide strong Presidential leadership on caregiving issues once they take office.”

The letter:

December 27, 2007

Governor Mike Huckabee
Candidate for President
Iowa Field Office
Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Governor:

We are writing on behalf of the over 60,000 direct care workers in Iowa who work on the front lines in nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospices, private residences, hospitals and other settings throughout the state.

We are professional caregivers, and we are proud of it.

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Welcome to Maplewood

Posted by on December 3rd, 2007 at 3:32 pm | 1 Comment »

In an editorial published in the Lewiston, Maine Sun Journal, Lauren Kessler describes what’s wrong with today’s elder care facilities. Things won’t change, she says, until we insist on reforms — starting with increasing the number of caregivers — but maybe the baby boomers will insist on those changes. Kessler is the author of Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s.

Her editorial begins:

I’ve seen the future – and you don’t want to.

Actually, you’ve seen the future, too, if you’ve tried finding, managing or paying for the care of an ailing, aging parent. If you were like me, you carefully, exhaustively searched for the best affordable facility.

Let’s say you found one that was clean and safe, that was close enough for regular visits. There were three hot meals a day, activities and outings listed on the bulletin board, a sympathetic administrator.

It’s a good place. But admit it: Like me, every time you visit, you can’t wait to leave. You are thankful that you don’t have to live there. This will never happen to me, you vow under your breath on your way back to the car. I’ll never end up in a place like this.


There are about 78 million baby boomers in the United States. By 2030, 58 million of us, then ages 66-84, still will be alive. Where do you think many of us will be living?

The entire piece can be found here.

Direct Care Workers

Posted by on December 3rd, 2007 at 6:33 am | 1 Comment »

This touching and heartfelt piece was written by the daughter of direct care worker and DCA Board member Jenn Craigue.

by Stephanie Pritchard

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been a direct care worker. When I was little, my mom, Jennifer Craigue, used to take me to her jobs to help her. I can still remember one of her old patients named George. She used to give him his favorite candy bar every day just to see a smile on his face.

My mom loves working and being with her clients. Every client she has had, she makes sure that they are properly taken care of. People say don’t get personally involved with your clients because it might interfere with their work. In most jobs that is true, except you need to be personal when you are a direct care worker.

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