WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR

Daughter feeding elderly mother with sou

Elevating the Status of Care Workers

 
beautiful%20african%20nurse%20taking%20c

REDEFINING CARE WORK

Being a care worker requires a unique skillset and knowledge, as well as uncommon talent and personal qualities. Not everyone has what it takes to be a professional athlete or a musician. Just as not everyone has what it takes to provide care to people with changing needs, preferences, and circumstances. Or provide care to people with diverse values and personalities. Through action-research and advocacy, we are working to change perceptions about care work and the people who provide it. We want people to see care workers as the skilled and talented essential workers we know they are.

Turning Care Work Into a Profession
of Its Own

While many care workers spend their working life in this career, they are given few opportunities to advance or develop new proficiencies. To maintain a quality workforce and improve the quality of life of our care workers, care work should be treated as a profession of its own. The Coalition for Better Care is working to turn care work into a profession by doing the following:

  • providing opportunities for advancement

  • providing a professionalization path

  • creating a system that improves the job-status of care work.

woman%20caregiver%20and%20elderly%20pati
graphicstock-young-hipster-son-walking-w

Better Incentives for Care Work

Being a care worker requires many skills and unique personal qualities. Yet it is still compensated as if it’s unskilled and non-essential work. Employee retention and care work outcomes would improve dramatically if care workers were:

  • Compensated adequately

  • Given access to existing resources for self-care

  • Provided opportunities for personal growth

  • Provided opportunities for career development

The Coalition for Better Care is advocating with care workers, those that receive care, and their families to turn care work into a quality job. This not only includes better pay, but access to benefits such as:

  • sick leave

  • health benefits

  • paid vacation

  • inclusion in the public service loan forgiveness program.

Health%20care%20worker%20helping%20an%20

Improving Training and Support

 
senior man and young african american cu

More Services and Supports for Care Workers  

Being a care worker requires many skills and unique personal qualities. Yet it is still compensated as if it’s unskilled and non-essential work. Employee retention and care work outcomes would improve dramatically if care workers were:

  • Compensated adequately

  • Given access to existing resources for self-care

  • Provided opportunities for personal growth

  • Provided opportunities for career development

The Coalition for Better Care is advocating with care workers, those that receive care, and their families to turn care work into a quality job. This not only includes better pay, but access to benefits such as:

  • sick leave

  • health benefits

  • paid vacation

  • inclusion in the public service loan forgiveness program.

Black%20woman%20doctor%2C%20surgeon%2C%2

Expanding and Improving Upon Available Training for Care Workers

While providing proper care involves adequate training, analysts agree that the federally-mandated training program is incomplete. There's not enough content, training programs are not long enough, and the delivery is not as practical as it could be for people without a post-secondary education.

In order to prepare our care workforce to safely provide better and more informed care, care workers need to be trained to do the following:

 

  • Communicate better with clients. Especially those affected by Alzheimer’s disease, depressive symptoms, and other Dementias.

  • Minimize pain while delivering care

  • Tell the difference between task-centered and           person-centered care

  • Notice and report early symptoms of a disorder

  • Understand how the body ages

  • Recognize changes and adjust care as-needed

 

We are working with local service providers to expand the training that’s already available and pilot test new training programs. These programs will expand the knowledge of care workers and increase their confidence. They will also provide them with more hard and soft skills to handle the intimate tasks of care. We'll also add training that informs care workers about the self-care and personal development resources that are available to them.

These changes will improve client care outcomes. That's why we will evaluate these programs through action research and report the results. Such results and other findings will be used to influence new and existing training programs, supports, and policies.

side view of senior disabled man in whee

Expanding Access to Care

 
graphicstock-group-of-old-friends-and-fa

Expanding Access
to Care

The current long-term care system allows many to fall through the cracks. People with low incomes can receive government assistance and those with high incomes can pay privately. Yet, the system leaves middle-class families with no meaningful services and supports. This forces them to choose between providing care for their loved ones and keeping their job. Middle-class families should have access to care without having to sacrifice their livelihoods. We are working with care workers and those that need long-term care to advocate for expanded access to services. By amplifying the voices of the unserved, we can work to provide access to long-term care services and supports for more families who need them.

HOW WE'RE FIGHTING

ACTION RESEARCH

We are working with graduate students to expand upon the available research about care work and care workforce development. We will use this research to inform decision makers, develop training programs, improve care outcomes, and contribute to the development of a quality care workforce.

EDUCATION & ADVOCACY

We have ambitious goals for improving care work and we realize that we cannot do it alone. That’s why we plan to work with care workers, those that receive care, and their families to create a better and fairer long-term care system.

NEW PROGRAMS

While we are working to change the system for the better, we are also working to serve as many care workers as we can right now. This includes developing new programs for training, mentorship, case management, information, and referral.

 
clipboard-with-blank-sheet-of-white-pape
college-students-in-a-computer-lab_HFUtq
advice-help-support-and-tips-signpost-sh