Archive for September, 2013

One Day to Open Enrollment: Get Direct Care Workers Covered!

Posted by on September 30th, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Comments Off on One Day to Open Enrollment: Get Direct Care Workers Covered!

got-coverage-sm-lighterDownload our press release.

Direct Care Alliance is thrilled to be joining dozens of community-based organizations across New York State in a campaign to help direct care workers and others get quality, affordable health insurance.

New York State of Health-–a simple and affordable way to get coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act–-will open tomorrow, providing a historic opportunity for tens of thousands of New York’s uninsured and underinsured direct care workers to obtain free or discounted health insurance. Continue reading »

Celebrating a Major Battle Won

Posted by on September 23rd, 2013 at 7:13 pm | 5 Comments »

Today in Washington, D.C., DCA joined with allies from AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, Caring Across Generations, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Association, the Institute for Policy Studies, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, NCLR,the National Employment Law Proiect, PHI and SEIU to celebrate home care workers and the rule that will give them minimum wage and overtime protections. This is the toast I gave there, on behalf of DCA.

Tracy Dudzinski

Tracy Dudzinski

I would like to thank President Obama, Secretary Perez and the Department of Labor for meeting with and listening to the people who do this work every day and the people we serve.

I remember when I stood with President Obama as he announced the proposed rule in December of 2011. I was proud to hear him speak about my profession with such respect. That night I felt like I could fly back to Wisconsin without boarding the plane. I had the same feeling last week when the final rule was announced. Thank you again! Continue reading »

A Texas Progress Report from DCA’s Executive Director

Posted by on September 23rd, 2013 at 8:13 am | Comments Off on A Texas Progress Report from DCA’s Executive Director
Carla D. Washington

Carla D. Washington

Ninety-seven years old. One hundred years old. One hundred and four years old. These are ages of just three of the clients that I had the privilege of meeting while spending time with the Greater Houston Direct Care Alliance (GHDCA). It was an eye-opening and humbling experience to be invited into the assisted living facility where they live to observe the skilled care provided lovingly by Dream Care home care workers.

The owner of Dream Care Home Care Agency, LaDonna Williams, considers her work much more than a business. It’s a life she’s chosen, and she instills this same feeling in others by always making herself available for consultation with her workers, her clients’ families, and the staff of the facilities where some of her clients live. Most importantly, she models for her workers why this profession of theirs demands devotion and deserves respect. Continue reading »

Landmark Victory for Home Care Workers!

Posted by on September 17th, 2013 at 2:54 am | Comments Off on Landmark Victory for Home Care Workers!

Huffpo front page with Obama smallHome care workers across the country are celebrating a major victory: After nearly 40 years of exclusion, they are finally guaranteed basic labor protections under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Long-awaited regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) were finalized today, extending FLSA protections–including a guarantee of minimum wage and overtime pay–to home care workers nationwide.

“It’s been more than a year since I stood on the stage with President Obama as he announced the proposed regulations, and we were advocating for this change for a long time before that–but we’ve finally won!” says home care worker and Direct Care Alliance (DCA) Board Chair Tracy Dudzinski. “I’ve always said our work is expected but not respected. These regulations prove that our voices are starting to be heard.” Continue reading »

Register Now for a Free Webinar on the New Health Care Law

Posted by on September 13th, 2013 at 10:25 am | Comments Off on Register Now for a Free Webinar on the New Health Care Law

On September 24 from 12 to 1 p.m. ET, DCA’s National Direct Care Partnership will host a webinar titled The Health Insurance Marketplace and Its Impact on Direct Care Workers and Small Businesses.

The webinar will focus on the exchanges that are a key part of the new health care law. Participants will learn about anticipated challenges related to the exchanges, tips and resources for enrolling direct care workers and others, and tax credits and other things small businesses should be aware of.

Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register now to secure your spot.

Measuring What Makes a Good Direct Care Worker

Posted by on September 9th, 2013 at 5:26 pm | 1 Comment »

Georgia P. Ameia Yen-Patton is a gerontological nurse practitioner who recently completed a PhD in nursing. In this Q&A with DCA’s Elise Nakhnikian, she shares a tool she developed for nurse managers as part of her PhD thesis, explaining how it can be used to identify and strengthen the core values that distinguish good caregivers.

Ameia Yen-Patton

Ameia Yen-Patton

As you explained in your blog post for us last year, your PhD thesis is about the reciprocal ethical caring values that characterize long-time nursing assistants. You found that direct care workers who stay in this profession do it because they have a sense of purpose and like the feeling of helping the people they assist, is that right?

Yes. This is a very old principle. Every culture that exists on earth has this value of reciprocal ethical caring in relationships—it is what has allowed societies to sustain themselves over time—but somehow it gets lost in translation through industrial modernization. The direct care workers who see what they do as “just a job,” who often don’t stay very long, are unable to experience the value of reciprocal ethical caring. Reciprocal ethical caring is a human potential that we all have. However, in some people it has not been developed, while others express it strongly and spontaneously.

People with reciprocal ethical caring values believe in giving. They see that they gain a lot of rewards from their kinship with the people they work with and people that they care for. And they know there is a reason for every behavior–that we may not know the reason, but it’s important to understand that there is a reason and to treat everyone with respect and appreciation. Continue reading »

Why I Invest in DCA Memberships for My Direct Care Workers

Posted by on September 9th, 2013 at 5:26 pm | 1 Comment »
Judy Clinco

Judy Clinco

Direct care workers are the heart of my home care company. They come to the clients’ homes, tend to their personal daily needs, and form crucial, often close relationships with them. It is essential to the health of my business that my direct care workers be well-informed and confident, and that both they and the people they assist understand that they are professionals.

Part of being a professional is belonging to a professional association. That is why I give all my direct care workers a membership in Direct Care Alliance (DCA) as soon as they’ve passed their probationary period.

Being part of an association gives my home care workers the opportunity to network with other professionals, coming together with other dedicated direct workers to improve the community’s perception of their work and to advocate on behalf of their profession. Through DCA’s biweekly Direct Care News newsletter, they can stay informed about what’s happening to improve direct care jobs and the quality of long-term care, both nationwide and in our region. They also receive advance notification of opportunities to participate in leadership training through DCA’s Voices Institute.

Continue reading »