Professionalizing Care Work

As this segment of our population increases, the demand for long-term care, services and supports also increases. Seven out of 10 people will need home care at some point in their lives due to disability, illness, or aging. Demand for long-term care services is quickly outpacing the workforce that is available to meet the need and where access to long-term care services exists, it is often unaffordable for consumers and the quality of jobs – including wages, benefits and work conditions – is poor for workers. Women, and particularly women of color, comprise the majority of the paid care workforce. Greater public investments are needed in both family caregivers and paid providers to take the burden of the high and inefficient cost of care off of individual families and to truly make a national investment in valuing families – including families of choice.

Solutions:
Invest in affordable community and home-based care.
Support family caregivers, including families of choice
Support programs that address long-term care needs, flexible options, and the high cost of care and care workforce development.
Raise the wages of both publicly and privately funded home care workers.
Support quality care and career pathways into health care and social work.
Provide paid sick days, ensure access to affordable, flexible high quality child and elder care for home care workers’ families, and ensure that scheduling practices are flexible and predictable.

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