Archive for June, 2011

Home is Where the Heart is

Posted by on June 29th, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Comments Off on Home is Where the Heart is

This story was contributed by Amy Nelson, Founder, President and CEO of Accurate Home Care

As health care reform comes to pass, there is a building momentum towards keeping clients in their homes whenever possible.Home care is fast becoming an integral part of the care continuum, bridging the clinic-based care model and the actual world clients live in.

Learning about home care is important for consumers as thousands of families each year are faced with the decision of where to go when a loved one needs personal assistance or medical care.More and more they turn to home health care professionals to supplement their direct care on an ongoing or occasional basis. Home care offers comfort, cost effectiveness and convenience compared to institutional alternatives.

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Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act Introduced in the House and Senate!

Posted by on June 27th, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act Introduced in the House and Senate!

Last Friday, the Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act was introduced in the U.S. House (HR 2341) and Senate (S. 1273) by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA).  The bill was submitted with 22 original co-sponsors in the House and in the Senate, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, Tom Harkin also signed on as an original co-sponsor.

Rep. Sanchez released a statement on the importance and impact of the legislation stating “It is impossible to overstate the importance of direct care workers…They provide essential care and daily living services to more than 13 million elderly and disabled Americans.  They care for our parents and grandparents, but we don’t guarantee home care workers the minimum wage.  It is my hope that…” Read full release from Rep. Sanchez


Personal Triumph Highlights Crucial Role Immigrants Play in Direct Care Workforce

Posted by on June 27th, 2011 at 5:24 pm | 1 Comment »

Timothy Doe

What motivates one to immigrate to another country, especially to the United States?  If you are an immigrant, you have no doubt been asked: “So, what brought you here?”

Everyone’s personal situation is different and a variety reasons come into play when someone decides to come and live in this great country.  Some come to U.S. because of a dangerous political climate in their native country, others due to struggling economies, sky-high unemployment rates and lack of educational and professional opportunities in their home land.  Many come to the United States in search of liberty, freedom, more economic opportunities and a better quality of life for their families.

In a sea of thousands who emigrate here every year, and the millions that came before them, this is the story of one such person.  My name is Timothy Kokou Doe and I came to the United States in search of a better life in 2002.  I grew up in Lomé, the capital (and largest city) of Togo, located on the West African coast.  Back in Togo, I worked for nonprofit social service organizations, helping young people prevent early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.  I also created an association called Soleil de Nuit (Nighttime Sun), aimed at educating the public – especially teenagers – about these important topics through poetry, short sketches and theatrical plays.  After moving to the U.S. from my native Togo, I worked in a restaurant for two years.  Over the course of those two years, I practiced and improved my English so that I could one day pursue a career doing the direct care work that I love.

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By Our Sides: The Vital Work of Immigrant Direct Care Workers

Posted by on June 27th, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Comments Off on By Our Sides: The Vital Work of Immigrant Direct Care Workers

Evelyn Coke was a Jamaican immigrant and an American hero. For more than twenty years, she cared for sick, elderly and dying people in their homes. She worked tirelessly, without overtime pay or health insurance coverage, while fighting to overturn regulations that exclude home care workers from basic labor protections. Her lawsuit went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, although in the end the Court decided against her. Despite her decades of service to ailing people in need, when Evelyn herself became ill in the last years of her life, she could not afford a health care worker to be by her side (Martin 2009).

Evelyn’s work—and that of thousands of other immigrant direct care workers across the country—provides vital support to families struggling to assist elderly, disabled and seriously ill relatives. As the Baby Boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) ages, more and more elderly and sick Americans will rely on these immigrant workers.  Read the brief.

DCA Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing, Renews Fight to Change the FLSA

Posted by on June 20th, 2011 at 4:46 pm | 4 Comments »

Last Thursday, the Direct Care Alliance hosted a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill, bringing together workers, providers, consumers and other direct care advocates in support of Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act, a bill that would finally extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers across the country.

The Direct Care Job Quality Improvement Act is set to be re-introduced (formerly the Direct Care Workforce Empowerment Act) by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the House and Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) in the Senate later this month.  Rep. Sanchez, an ardent supporter of direct care workers’ rights addressed the briefing attendees and spoke personally about her own father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease and the indispensable role direct care workers play in his day-to-day life stating “If it weren’t for this workforce taking care of him it would be incredibly difficult for my family to manage it…  Read more about the legislative briefing. Continue reading »

Care, Commitment and Coffee with Jimmie Chandler of Maine!

Posted by on June 20th, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Comments Off on Care, Commitment and Coffee with Jimmie Chandler of Maine!

At the 2011 Voices Institute Leadership Training, DCA communications director, Josh Sabato sat down to speak with direct care worker, Jimmie Chandler to discuss the most pressing issues facing direct care workers and how other activists can get involved in direct care advocacy in Maine.  DCA Speaks with Jimmie Chandler at 2011 Voices Institute Training.

DCA to Host Briefing on Capitol Hill this Thursday

Posted by on June 13th, 2011 at 2:50 pm | 3 Comments »

Leonila Vega

As we remember direct care icon Evelyn Coke following the fourth anniversary of her landmark Supreme Court decision, the DCA celebrates her legacy by continuing the fight for direct care workers and those they serve.  Once again the DCA is taking up the mantle of change, leading the fight to secure minimum wage and overtime protections, ensuring that workers get the respect and dignity they deserve.

This coming Thursday, June 16th the DCA honors the legacy of Evelyn Coke by bringing together providers, workers and consumers for a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill in support of common-sense solutions that will drastically and permanently improve the quality of life for millions of direct care workers and those they so selflessly care for.

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Care, Commitment and Coffee with Naomi Smith of Michigan!

Posted by on June 13th, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Comments Off on Care, Commitment and Coffee with Naomi Smith of Michigan!

At the 2011 Voices Institute Leadership Training, DCA communications director, Josh Sabato sat down to speak with direct care worker, Naomi Smith to discuss the most pressing issues facing direct care workers and how other activists can get involved in direct care advocacy in Michigan.  DCA Speaks with Naomi Smith at 2011 Voices Institute Training.

Care, Commitment and Coffee Series Continues!

Posted by on June 7th, 2011 at 1:27 pm | 1 Comment »

Your passion. Your job. Your future!

At the 2011 Voices Institute Leadership Training, DCA communications director, Josh Sabato sat down for conversations with workers and direct care advocates from around the country, discussing the most pressing issues facing direct care workers and how anyone can join the movement in their home state. This week we invite you to meet Noel Mendez, from the DCA’s Pennsylvania chapter! Watch Video

DCA Inviting Workers to Join Credentialing Committee

Posted by on June 7th, 2011 at 1:21 pm | 2 Comments »

Helen Hanson in front of the U.S. Capitol buidling

This letter was contributed by Helen Hanson

In 2011, the Direct Care Alliance rolled out the Personal Care and Support Credential. This credential provides direct care workers an opportunity to demonstrate their work readiness, knowledge, judgment and other critical skills necessary for providing personal care and support to people who are chronically ill, disabled, or dying.

To keep the exam fair, comprehensive and up-to-date, the Direct Care Alliance is creating a committee of experienced direct care workers to review the existing questions and discuss changes to the exam.

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Disaster Preparedness Training, More lessons learned from Joplin, Missouri

Posted by on June 7th, 2011 at 1:17 pm | 1 Comment »

 

John Booker

Disaster preparedness training for all health care workers is becoming as equally important today as learning about temp, pulse, and respiration was for direct care workers in 1985. The training should be separate, mandatory and include a special evacuation procedure for the most challenged residents, especially those with severe dementia.  A program to support and restore dislocated, financially distressed workers and their families, who are often just as devastated in these disasters  as the people they serve, should also be implemented.

In major disasters, quick and educated decisions can make the difference between life and death, those decisions become magnified where the elderly, disabled and those who are mentally challenged are concerned.  The tornado that made direct hits on St. John’s Regional Medical Center and Greenbriar Nursing Home in Joplin, Missouri, was one of 68 that covered seven midwestern states that weekend and came on the heels of previous storms in the southern states.  These disasters should give us more insight into areas where training for health care workers should be increased or reviewed.

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