Archive for March, 2014

It’s Women’s History Month: Time to Pay Tribute to Direct Care Workers

Posted by on March 24th, 2014 at 11:53 am | Comments Off on It’s Women’s History Month: Time to Pay Tribute to Direct Care Workers
Carla Washington

Carla Washington

Skilled. Compassionate. Hard working. Good listener. These are just a few of the many positive adjectives often used to describe direct care workers. Since women make up over 88 percent of the direct care workforce, Women’s History Month is yet another perfect opportunity for Direct Care Alliance (DCA) to recognize you for being “the backbone of nurse work,” as CNA Katrina Gilbert put it in HBO’s Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.

In other words, you rock!

Lately a lot of attention is being paid to the direct care workforce—and by more than those of us who usually pay attention to the topic. Just last week, Paycheck to Paycheck premiered on HBO. A joint project of HBO and The Shriver Report, this portrait of a CNA working at a nursing home offered, as the movie’s website put it, “the deeply personal, unvarnished, and moving story of Katrina Gilbert, single mom of three, whose daily struggles illuminate the challenges faced by the 42 million women who living in poverty or on the brink of it and the 28 million children who depend on them.” Continue reading »

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on March 24th, 2014 at 11:44 am | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

Watch HBO’s Paycheck to Paycheck, the story of CNA and single mother Katrina Gilbert, free of charge on the Shriver Report website.

A brief on the problems caused by unstable work schedules–like those of home care workers–and policy approaches that would help.

A New York Times feature about the challenges of raising a family on under $10.10 an hour  features Erika McCurdy, a nurse’s aide in Tennessee.

Unions and the state of California are battling over the right to overtime pay for IHSS home care workers.

The executive director of an ARC in New York state urged the legislature to include a 3 percent raise for direct service staff, saying low wages make recruitment and retention difficult.

More progress on paid sick days: New York’s mayor has signed a measure that will extend paid sick days to 1.3 million more New Yorkers as of April 1 and a National Partnership for Women & Families fact sheet presents evidence of the economic benefits of paid sick days from the four jurisdictions with the longest-running laws: San Francisco, Washington, DC, Connecticut and Seattle.

Why Direct Care Worker Wages Are Key to Closing the Gender Wage Gap

Posted by on March 13th, 2014 at 8:14 am | Comments Off on Why Direct Care Worker Wages Are Key to Closing the Gender Wage Gap
Jessica Brill Ortiz

Jessica Brill Ortiz

In an editorial published in today’s Huffington Post, DCA National Advocacy Director Jessica Brill Ortiz recommends using Women’s History Month as an opportunity to do more than just reflect on our history. “This March, let’s take it a step further by working to become a society where women’s equality is truly universal and secure, no matter who you are, where you’re born or what you do for a living,” she writes. “Let’s commit to finally closing the gender wage gap that leaves women earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.”

Closing the gender wage gap, she points out, means more than just making sure women get paid the same as men to do the same work. “We must also improve wages for the millions of women who are paid less than men because they do work that has traditionally been done by women—and paid at a much lower rate than work traditionally done by men. Millions of these women are direct care workers.”

Read Jessica’s article.

Spotlight on Nursing Home Staffing

Posted by on March 11th, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Comments Off on Spotlight on Nursing Home Staffing

table from OIG report 4table from OIG report 4Nursing facility staff levels are drawing increased attention lately, spurring discussion about the connection between staffing levels and the quality of care, services and support received by residents.

A Center for Medicare Advocacy analysis has found that although most nursing facilities in the U.S. do not have sufficient staff to provide residents with necessary care, the federal enforcement system cites very few facilities with staffing deficiencies and often does not impose any financial penalties even when it finds that a facility has insufficient staff. “The federal enforcement system cannot be effective in improving care for residents if it is not used,” the study concludes.

table from OIG report 5

A recently released Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) report finds that one third of skilled nursing home residents are being harmed, and in some cases dying, as a result of “adverse or temporary harm events,” which are instances where harm results due either to the care provided by the facility or care that was not provided when needed.

Continue reading »

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on March 11th, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

Olympia Dukakis on why we need to take better care of home care aides, who take such good care of the rest of us.

This ad from the Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition—including DCA—features quotes from GOP governors who expanded their states’ Medicaid programs.

A direct care worker in Britain is leading a campaign to encourage more people–especially men–to join her profession.  Meanwhile a British activities director is urging more of his fellow men to become care workers, also in order to head off a “drastic” looming shortage.

Direct care workers are lobbying for better pay and better care in Illinois, Washington and Delaware.

NPR reporter Daniel Zwerdling is looking for CNAs, nurses and others at hospitals and nursing homes who have suffered on the job injuries. If that applies to you, check out this online survey.

A retired CNA in Wisconsin won a million-dollar lotteryContinue reading »