Archive for ‘Delaware’

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 »

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.

Support Melanie’s March for Health Care Reform

Posted by on February 16th, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Comments Off on Support Melanie’s March for Health Care Reform

Melanie Shouse

A group of Pennsylvanians is marching the 135 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., over the next week. They are going to call on Congress to support health care reform, and they want you to join them.

It may be a little late to join the march from start to finish, since it starts on February 17, but the leaders of Melanie’s March are also looking for people to join them at events along the way in cities like Newark, Wilmington, and Baltimore; donate to support the cause; or march the last mile with them to Capitol Hill. Continue reading »

Voices Institute NLP Graduates New Crop of Direct Care Worker Leaders

Posted by on October 15th, 2009 at 9:05 am | 3 Comments »
DCA board chair Vera Salter teaching members of the 2009 class

DCA board chair Vera Salter teaching members of the 2009 class

“Let the root thrive” was the birthing motto of the Voices Institute inaugural class, inspired by the lakeside location of the DeKoven Center in Wisconsin, where the first graduates launched DCA’s signature National Leadership Program (NLP) to turbo-charge direct care worker leadership and activism.

When I wrote, after the first class graduated, that the inaugural program was one “historic and successful step forward for the movement to empower direct care workers and to fix our broken long-term care system,” I was dreaming of the possibilities. From September 27 through October 3 of this year, direct care workers once again proved their capacity to make the seemingly impossible happen, and to claim the respect they deserve as professionals. The roots are thriving at the state and national level, and the new class of graduates have a place from where to build national policy success. Continue reading »

Voices Institute Welcomes Another Remarkable Class

Posted by on September 10th, 2009 at 5:06 pm | 8 Comments »
Angel Saylor (R) with home care aide Kelvin Jefferson at a DCA focus group

Angel Saylor (R) with home care aide Kelvin Jefferson at a DCA focus group

The Direct Care Alliance’s signature program, the Voices Institute, is about to hold its second National Leadership Program. The week-long retreat is an intensive learning journey, and this year’s class is another remarkable group, which will surely join the pioneers from the VI inaugural class to leave its mark on the direct care worker movement. We are returning to the DeKoven Center, where the roots that were planted at the first Voices Institute National Leadership Program will again thrive.

This year, we are welcoming men and women who care for people of all ages in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, hospice, group homes, day programs, assisted living, and home- and community-based programs. Consistent with the DCA’s objectives to build a broadly inclusive movement of empowered direct care workers, the class of 2009 represents a wide spectrum of direct care workers. Continue reading »

Real Wages Keep Falling for Personal and Home Care Aides

Posted by on September 9th, 2009 at 11:17 am | 1 Comment »

state chartbook coverAs every direct care worker advocate knows, personal and home care aides earn far too little for the important work they do. And now an updated version of PHI’s State Chart Book on Wages for Personal and Home Care Aides (PDF) gives advocates a valuable tool, proving that real wages are actually getting worse.

The chart book analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusting last year’s wages for inflation to see how their earning power compares to average wages in 1999.

Nationwide, these inflation-adjusted rates, which the chartbook calls “real wages,” have decreased by 3 percent over the past nine years, dropping from $7.50 an hour to just $7.31. Real wages increased in more than half the states during that period, but not enough to make up for their decline in the other 21.

Median wages in 2008 ranged from $7.05 an hour in Texas to $12.55 in Alaska in 2008, or real wages of $5.61 to $9.90. “Wages for personal and home care aides are so low,” says PHI Director of Policy Research Dorie Seavey, “that about 20 percent of these workers received a raise on July 24 when the minimum wage increased to $7.25/hour.”

The chartbook also compares wages to federal poverty level wages for a one-person household.

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance

DCA Publishes Fact Sheets for Direct Care Worker Advocates and their Allies

Posted by on June 25th, 2009 at 10:56 am | 1 Comment »

A full set of DCA Direct Care Fact Sheets, one for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is now available in the Resources section of our website.

The one-page sheets were created as a resource for direct care worker advocates and their allies, legislators, policymakers, members of the media, and others interested in direct care issues. They include key facts such as:

  •   The number of home health aides, nursing assistants, and personal and home care aides in the state in 2006 and the projected numbers of each in 2016
  •   The average hourly wage for the state’s direct care workers
  •   What percentage of direct care workers in that state or region are without health insurance

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance

Delaware Workers Tell Policymaker What They Need at Career Nursing Assistant Day Event

Posted by on June 16th, 2009 at 3:28 pm | 3 Comments »
june-09-de-conference-1On June 11, I had the privilege to represent the DCA at the first ever Career Nursing Assistant Day Celebration and Recognition event for the direct care workers of Delaware. The meeting was held in Dover by the Delaware Certified Nursing Assistants (DCNA) association. The theme was the Wizard of Oz, since CNAs all have HEART, COURAGE and BRAINS.

Pat Engelhardt, the founder and head of the association, did an awesome job. As I know from years of experience, it takes a lot of time and effort to pull off an event like this. I counted approximately 55 direct care workers in attendance – a good number for a first event.

Keynote speaker Jeni Gipson (standing)

Keynote speaker Jeni Gipson (standing)

Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf was on the program – but she was there to learn, not to speak. Secretary Landgraf is working with Pat to improve government policies that affect direct care workers. She opened up the floor to questions, asking “If those changes were going to happen today, what would you ask for?”

The response was overwhelming, and the outcome was: RESPECT, better health insurance, dental and eye coverage, increased pay, and a living wage. She was amazed to hear about how many of us who provide care don’t have health care coverage ourselves. Continue reading »

DCA Small Grants Awards Announced today!

Posted by on October 12th, 2007 at 8:26 am | 1 Comment »

Small grants have been awarded to the Iowa Caregivers Association, Delaware Certified Nursing Assistants, The ARC of Mississippi and the Filipino Workers Association through a highly competitive request for proposal process. There were so many terrific proposals and we wish we could have funded several others. We hope unsuccessful applicants won’t be discouraged from applying again.

The grantees are:

Iowa Caregivers Association – They will develop and use a worker Leadership Council to recruit and retain association members.

Delaware Certified Nursing Assistants – This grantee will produce a video of certified nursing assistants in order to perform outreach through a newly developed association of direct care workers in Delaware. They are associated with the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants.

The Arc of Mississippi – This group will conduct 4 retreats for a total of 50 direct care workers and run a credentialing program of the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).

Filipino Worker Association of Los Angeles California – This grantee will sponsor a “Courage Congress” to gain new members focusing on Filipino direct care workers in Los Angeles.