Archive for February, 2014

Get Direct Care Workers Covered: A Home Care Aide Relieved to Have Health Care Coverage but Wishing It Were Even Cheaper

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Comments Off on Get Direct Care Workers Covered: A Home Care Aide Relieved to Have Health Care Coverage but Wishing It Were Even Cheaper

got-coverage-bannerBeverly, a home health aide in New York City, usually works 5 days a week for 7 hours a day, but her hours—and therefore her pay—fluctuate, as they do for most home care workers. At just $10.58 an hour, she earned about $18,000 last year. For her first five years on the job, her earnings were low enough that she qualified for health insurance though Medicaid, but in 2012 she lost her coverage.

Beverly has high blood pressure and asthma, two chronic health conditions that get much worse if she can’t afford the medications needed to manage them. She also has to have mammograms every six months ever since abnormal cells were found on a biopsy. “You definitely have to have health insurance,” she says.  Continue reading »

For My Friend Jack Who Has Cerebral Palsy and Lives in a Nursing Home

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 12:35 pm | 1 Comment »
David Moreau

David Moreau

If I were you this is what I’d say

There was a lack of oxygen at my birth.

My mom and dad were good to me growing up.

As a young man I was put in a bad place once,

but now I have a life we share together

at Clover Manor. Continue reading »

New Training Opportunities for Maine Direct Care Workers

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 11:30 am | Comments Off on New Training Opportunities for Maine Direct Care Workers
Susan Rovillard

Susan Rovillard

Direct care workers in Maine can learn new skills and obtain certificates to demonstrate their expertise free of charge, thanks to a new pilot training model that blends online and in-class training.

The Maine Direct Service Worker Training Program provides flexible, convenient, and efficient training opportunities for direct service workers in Maine’s adult long-term services and supports system, easing the way to employment. Workers interested in a career pathway within the direct care profession can be cross-trained and more easily certified to work with multiple populations.  Continue reading »

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 11:04 am | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

“It’s way, way deeper than just a job,” says one of the home care workers in this article about going the extra mile to get to clients during this winter’s storms.

Personal support workers in Illinois and home care workers in Washington rallied for higher wages.

A home heath aide and single mother in Texas is typical of the new wave of food stamp recipients.

Sarita Gupta of Jobs With Justice on why the fight for direct care worker rights is a fight for racial justice.

AFSCME’s Laura Reyes on the sexist agenda hidden in the Supreme Court case about unions and home care workers.

Nurse’s aide Timikia Craig, winner of a $1,000 scholarship, on what drew her to direct care work and what it means to her.

After reading about a jobless home care worker in Pennsylvania whose unemployment benefits were ending, the wife of a Virginia man with end-stage dementia who relies on home care paid the worker’s mortgage for a month.

We must increase wages for direct support professionals, says a letter to the editor by staff of Arc Maryland.

The State of Direct Care Workers

Posted by on February 11th, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Comments Off on The State of Direct Care Workers
Carla D. Washington

Carla D. Washington

“Everyone seems to agree, as the President emphasized several times in his State of the Union address, that people who work full-time should not live in poverty,” writes Direct Care Alliance Executive Director Carla Washington in the Huffington Post. But for far too many direct care workers, she goes on, “hard work does not pay off, except in the satisfaction it gives them and the relationships they form with the people they assist.”

In The State of the Direct Care Worker,  Washington writes about how helping to improve wages and benefits for direct care workers, one of the nation’s poorest paid and fastest-growing workforces, is a powerful way to achieve goals the President outlined in his State of the Union Address–things like narrowing the income gap and making progress toward allowing everyone who works hard to share in the fruits of the American dream.

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on February 11th, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

A MomsRising blog carnival on how the Affordable Care Act is affecting health care coverage includes posts from DCA member and home care worker Mohan Varghese and from DCA’s Jessica Brill Ortiz and Elise Nakhnikian.

A worker from DCA Board Chair Tracy Dudzinski’s Wautoma, Wisconsin-based home care coop is one of the experts quoted in this NPR report on the growing trend of seniors caring for seniors.

Janice Lynch Schuster on why direct care workers deserve and need a living wage.

Direct care workers made Salon Magazine’s list of 11 jobs where an honest day’s work will leave you in poverty.

PHI has a new fact sheet on home care workers.

Direct care workers at a Fresno assisted living home protested over unpaid wages and overtime totaling $1.6 million.

Direct care workers in New Zealand rallied in support of a worker who sued for higher wages on the basis of gender inequality. (She won, but her case is being appealed by her employer.)

A new chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the huge growth in projected demand for direct care workers–especially home care workers–in the next eight years.

Advocates Launch Medicaid Expansion Campaign in Texas

Posted by on February 10th, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Comments Off on Advocates Launch Medicaid Expansion Campaign in Texas

Texas_left_me_outAs part of our Get Direct Care Workers Covered initiative, DCA is working with direct care workers and ally organizations/coalitions in key states to advocate for Medicaid expansion, so more direct care workers and their families have access to affordable, quality health care. One of these states is Texas.

Over six million Texans are uninsured, giving the state the highest rate of uninsured people in the U.S., but state lawmakers decided not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Their decision means Texas has lost billions of federal dollars that could have expanded health coverage. And that leaves more than one million Texans, including many direct care workers and their families, in a health care coverage gap, ineligible for Medicaid and also for financial assistance with policies bought through the new health insurance exchange. Continue reading »