Saturday, February 9, 2008

Issues for our Next President (Part Three)

As America's population ages, increasing numbers of its people have home care attendants, or live in nursing homes. Medicare pays a large percentage of these expenses.Wages vary widely in this profession, depending on the policies of the private agency that is delivering care to the elderly infirm. Some agencies pay competitive wages, and offer helpful training to those who work directly with clients. Unlike nurses who have a state licence before coming to work , direct care staff accumulate experience as they work, and need only have a high school diploma.
Done correctly, care of the elderly infirm is a challenging and rewarding career. In order to attract people who are dedicated and stable, a living wage should be paid to people in this field. Some agencies pay those who work directly with the elderly infirm barely more than minimum wage. Standards vary widely in training staff after they are hired by these private agencies.
I believe that Medicaid and Medicare should take greater interest in making sure that direct care staff delivering care to the elderly and disabled should be well paid and well trained. In word and deed,our collective respect for the hard work of these home attendants and direct care workers should be manifest. Especially those who work in private homes should have ongoing training and on site supervision. Some private agencies and homes meet wage and training standards. Others fall sadly short.
Our care for and respect for the elderly says much about our decency as a people. We owe it to the elderly and infirm the assurance that their twilight years are spent in comfort under competent and compassionate care
This issue should be high on the priority list of any prospective candidate for president.

Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved by Magdeburger Joe

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