According to (Americans, 2008) “Direct-care workers, also referred to as paraprofessionals, are the primary providers of paid hands-on care, supervision, and emotional support for older adults in the United States. While not all direct-care workers care for older patients, they work primarily in settings important in the care of older adults, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home-care settings.”
At Lucky Dove, we are interested in home-care settings. The article already cited goes on to state that, “Direct-care workers are often grouped into three categories: nurse aides (also known as nursing assistants); home health aides; and personal- and home-care aides (Harmuth and Dyson, 2005). Forty-two percent of direct-care workers care for patients in the home setting.”
The article goes on to discuss the increasing shortage of workers in the field amidst an increasing need for them. The training, it goes on to state, “is insufficient to prepare these workers to provide quality care to older adults.” It gives the following information on training for personal and home-care aides, “Dependent on state, with some requiring no formal training; high school diploma and previous work experience not always required.”
The issue is exacerbated by poor wages with the average worker receiving one-third less than the median wage.
Where does this leave Lucky Dove?
Lucky Dove Home Care is committed firstly to its clients and because of this to the excellence of home-care provision. This means that the company has the following principles in place:
- To hire staff at a better than average wage, improving the quality of staff we attract and retain.
- To provide training above the recommended minimum to ensure that staff continues to grow and that our service continues to improve.
The idea makes business sense. An investment in high-quality staff and an investment in their training improves the company and its ability to deliver high-end service to our clients. It also ties in with our business ethics. These are amongst other things, that:
Our staff are our biggest asset and must be valued.
Our clients deserve the best we can give.
We view the situation regarding the situation of and requirements for direct care workers as unfortunate. Within our place in the Home Care world, we are committed to changing that. Somebody once said that doing good is good business. At Lucky Care, we agree.
Americans, I. of M. (US) C. on the F. H. C. W. for O. (2008). The Direct-Care Workforce. In Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK215393/