Home Health Workers
Better Compensation for Home Health Workers
Our city is at risk of an acute shortage of home healthcare workers. To prevent that, DC Appleseed is working with the District government, healthcare providers, educational organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that DC can continue to meet our growing need for healthcare workers.
The need is already greater than the supply. The ratio of residents needing homecare support in D.C. to available caregivers is 3 to 1, a ratio predicted to worsen if current demographic and workforce trends continue. According to a survey by DC Appleseed and the DC Long Term Care Coalition 20 out of 21 managers of homecare agencies were apprehensive about being able to hire enough workers to meet their clients’ needs.
To overcome the shortage of home health workers, DC Appleseed is advocating in two areas—compensation and training. Unfortunately, the pay is so low that home healthcare work is not considered a “good job.” We believe that home health workers should continue to receive the combat or hazard pay that essential workers earned at the beginning of the pandemic and that the amount of this pay should be increased.
We also feel that it is essential for area colleges and universities as well as adult education programs to work with DC government agencies, health care providers, and home care agencies to align and streamline training and certification for home health workers. Low or no cost, high quality professional development that meets the needs of the workers and their employers will benefit healthcare workers and their patients. Financial support for those enrolled in home healthcare courses will make it possible for these students to spend the time required on their courses.
Home healthcare can and should be a field with a career ladder that promises economic success for experienced workers. Making this a reality is the key to meeting our growing need for healthcare workers.
Need for Streamlined and Affordable Education Programs
Pro Bono Partners:
Arnold & Porter
Improved compensation and education will
address our city's shortage of home health workers.