Archive for January, 2014

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on January 28th, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

The U.S. economy does not value caregivers, writes Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic.

The text of a tweet chat about professional and family caregivers and direct care care consumers that was hosted last Wednesday by Caring Across Generations, DCA and family caregiver advocate Denise Brown.

A “good jobs” executive order could help direct care workers by setting standards for jobs paid for by government funding such as Medicare and Medicaid.

A Maryland direct care worker shares her experience and urges respect and a living wage for direct care workers.

Home health worker Theresa Johnson was among the SEIU members who visited the Indiana statehouse recently to urge their governor to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Operations End but Work Lives on for FL DCW Association

Posted by on January 27th, 2014 at 2:08 pm | 4 Comments »
Terry Bucher (L) and Joan Leah

Terry Bucher (L) and Joan Leah

At the end of this month, the Florida Professional Association of Care Givers will shut our doors after nearly 20 years. Endings are always hard, and this one is particularly difficult for those of us who love our profession and understand the need to advocate for it. However, the work FPACG has done will not be forgotten.

FPACG originated in September 1995 as The Nurse Assistant Educational Support Group, formed by Margaret T. Carleton-Bucher, LPN—or Terry, as she has been known to hundreds of members since then. I am one of them, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been a member and board president of FPACG. Continue reading »

Aging Today Outlines How the Home Care Rule Was Won

Posted by on January 27th, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Comments Off on Aging Today Outlines How the Home Care Rule Was Won

aging today“While the extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to homecare workers was a great win, a tremendous amount of advocacy is needed to maintain it,” write Direct Care Alliance (DCA) Executive Director Carla Washington and National Advocacy Director Jessica Brill Ortiz in the January-February issue of Aging Today, the bimonthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging. “We continue to work with our allies to ensure that the regulations are not derailed by Congress. We are also working to ensure that workers, consumers, employers and other stakeholders nationwide understand what the rule means for them—and why it is a victory for us all.”

Their article, Recent Victory for Homecare Workers is a Win for Advocates, outlines why home care workers were excluded from federal Fair Labor Standards Act protections and how DCA and its allies have worked to undo that longstanding injustice.

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on January 14th, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

A federal appeals court ruled against a nursing home that fired a pregnant nursing assistant. Meanwhile, another home in Michigan put a pregnant worker on forced unpaid leave.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget would prohibit overtime hours for IHSS home care workers.

Dozens of home care workers in San Francisco won $800,000 in back pay through the city’s Wage Theft Ordinance.

Direct care workers in Massachusetts are getting their first raise in five years.

Why developing the right organizational culture is so important for home care providers.

A Toronto personal support worker explains how hard it is to make a living in her profession.

The New Face of Our Economy: Direct Care Workers

Posted by on January 13th, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Comments Off on The New Face of Our Economy: Direct Care Workers
Jessica Brill Ortiz

Jessica Brill Ortiz

Fifty years into the war on poverty, it’s time to focus on direct care workers, explains DCA’s Jessica Brill Ortiz in the Huffington Post.

“As we work to advance the goals of the war on poverty, improving the economic security of direct care workers and their families should be at the top of the list, because improving direct care workers’ wages, benefits and career advancement opportunities will let us accomplish three important goals,” writes Jessica in The New Face of Our Economy.  “We can help ensure a stable, qualified direct care workforce large enough to meet growing demand. We can transform one of our fastest-growing job categories so that it bolsters our middle class and strengthens our economy instead of swelling the ranks of the working poor. And we can deliver on the promise of a nation where hard work is rewarded and respected.

Her piece outlines several current and pending policy initiatives that will help accomplish those goals.

Snowbound at the Chicken Farm

Posted by on January 13th, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 3 Comments »

snowstorm Just recently, something–a snowfall, maybe? Who knows?–surfaced a memory from a November day in 1997 when I shared a very special moment with one of the many elders I have cared for over the years.

As I put the blind up that morning, I could see soft white snowflakes dancing in the light wind. The silent flakes covered the trees, outlining their shapes while slowly giving the brownish-gray bark of the skeletal trunks softer tones and shapes, coating branches and crevasses.

My usual kitchen and bedroom pickup went as smoothly as the snowfall outside. Excitement was surfacing as I dressed, feeling the joy of putting on a red wool sweater over my clothes. There is something powerful and warm about a colorful winter sweater. Continue reading »

A Family Member Thanks Her “Saving Grace,” Direct Care Workers

Posted by on January 13th, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Comments Off on A Family Member Thanks Her “Saving Grace,” Direct Care Workers
Erin Hayes

Erin Hayes

In a moving editorial published by the Portland Press-Herald on the day before Christmas, DCA board member Erin Hayes describes her gratitude to the direct care worker who comes to her home every morning to help her husband, a C4/C5 quadriplegic, get ready for work. “She has given Ben the independence that he deserves–independence from me.” Erin writes. “Imagine your wife or even your mom caring for you every single day. How would that make you feel? Direct care workers help alleviate that burden, not just on family members but also on those who need the care.

“But direct care workers need help, too. Low government reimbursement rates, mostly through Medicaid and Medicare, for the services they provide mean low wages for these workers, who average around $10 an hour.

“Add to that inadequate training and little respect and support, and it is not surprising that it can be almost impossible to retain direct care workers,” she continues. Read Erin’s editorial.