Home Health-Care Agencies “Compete With McDonald’s” for Caregivers, Says Owner
Home health-care aides love what they do but hate the pay, reports the Associated Press. And their training varies widely.
Though home health-care care costs you a median of $19 an hour, the employees of these agencies see less than $10 of that, according to a behind-the-scenes look from the AP.
“We compete with McDonald’s, Wendy’s and the discount stores,” said Jennifer Witten, owner of Imani Home Health Co. in Cleveland. “You can’t afford to raise your salaries, yet you want to hire the best people.” …
The qualifications and training for home care aides varies. A high school diploma isn’t usually a requirement, and some states call for only on-the-job training, while others insist on more formal instruction about basic nutrition and personal hygiene at community colleges or elder care programs. Home care agencies that are reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid must hire aides who have passed a competency test or received state certification.
Despite the relatively low pay, many aides say they like the flexible hours and find the work rewarding.
But the industry also has a high turnover rate, the article says, which can be problematic for the people receiving the care. “Imagine a stranger walking into your house and giving you a bath,” says a woman who cares for her 74-year-old mother.
Here are some questions to ask as you search for in-home care, to make sure you find trained, caring aides.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.