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Employers are offering better pay, benefits and personal support to hire and keep home care aides

caregiver story editorial use only
Seth Harrison
/
The Journal News
Maggie Ornstein, 44, caresses her mother Janet's head after braiding her hair in their Queens home March 24 2022. Janet Ornstein, 77, suffered a cerebral aneurysm in 1996 when Maggie was 17 years-old and suffered cognitive impairment. As a result, she has required constant caregiving ever since. Maggie, who holds a Phd. and three masters degrees, has spent her entire adult life living with and caring for her mother.

The lack of home care aides is a crisis for the people and families who depend on them. With support from the Solutions Journalism Network, WXXI and other regional news outlets are covering possible solutions to the problem.

Home care workers, who are often paid less than fast food workers and receive fewer benefits, are leaving the field because they can’t pay their bills.
Across the state, agencies are struggling to hire and keep staff. Here's how one local agency is trying a new approach to retain employees by helping them with problems that occur outside of work, too.
About one in six employees in the U.S. is balancing work and caring for a family member. Employers can help by providing short-term backup eldercare as an employee benefit, but only about 7% of employers do.
The unknowns surrounding long COVID-19, including the lack of treatments and barriers to accessing support programs, have left millions of Americans facing the illness trapped in limbo. Health officials say a comprehensive approach is needed.

Caregivers work long hours for low pay. To bring more people into the field, some facilities are offering training programs that allow employees to advance their careers and make more money.
This longer-form audio story covered the role of success coaches in retaining home care aides.

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These stories was produced through the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations and universities dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about successful responses to social problems. The group is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network.

The collaborative’s first series, Invisible Army: Caregivers on the Front Lines, focuses on potential solutions to challenges facing caregivers of older adults.