A New Solution to Home Care Workforce Problems

A Quality Home Care Council

Home caregivers provide the critical assistance that allows consumers to live independently in their own homes, yet the home care system is riddled with challenges for consumers and caregivers alike. Most caregivers receive low wages, no health insurance, and no sick or vacation time—conditions that result in high turnover and make it difficult for consumers to find and keep a quality caregiver.

“The biggest way I can sum it up is the system is broken. We get care but we don’t seem to have any say for what goes on in it. We need to get the system to work, getting the right people, getting them to stay.”
    —Dan Ludington, home care consumer

Creating a Quality Home Care Council can be a first step to solving Connecticut’s long term care crisis and to create a permanent voice for consumers and caregivers to advocate for the changes needed to stabilize and improve the workforce.

A Quality Home Care Council can:

• Make it easier for consumers to find a reliable caregiver by creating a workforce directory.

• Expand and stabilize the home care workforce by recruiting new caregivers, providing ongoing training, and recommending ways to reduce turnover.

• Protect consumers’ self-direction, including the right to hire, train and fire their own caregiver.

• Provide backup caregivers for a consumer whose usual caregiver is sick or needs to take off a day.

• Give consumers a real voice in setting home care policy for Connecticut.

• Bring consumers, caregivers, policymakers and state agencies together to find the best solutions to the problems in our home care system.

• Open communication and strengthen collaboration between consumers, providers, advocates and state agencies on issues both within and outside the realm of the council by providing a regular setting for meeting and discussion.

• Allow caregivers to have a democratic process where they can use their collective voice with the state by forming a union.

We can sit at the same table and work together to address our common goals and make the needed changes in home- and community-based service policy.

“PCAs need a way to come together to speak for ourselves and we don’t have one now,” says Connecticut home care worker Sasha Commondore. “I hope that when we come together we can advocate with our clients for more services, and more care hours if they need them.”

Working together, we can improve home care.

For more information or to get involved, call us at 860-251-6011. Sign up to join the campaign here.

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