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Meeting the need for home care in California

Linda L. Delp, MPH, Center for Labor Research and Education, UCLA, Box 951478, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1478, 310 794-5976, ldelp@ucla.edu

The increasing need for long term care as the U.S. population ages poses a critical public health challenge – how will we ensure an adequate supply of qualified direct care providers? Workers in California’s In Home Supportive Services program have organized in the last decade for improved wages and health care benefits. A statewide worker-consumer coalition created a public authority structure to provide registries and training with the goal of enhancing quality of care for the state’s growing elderly and disabled population in need of home care services.

Recent research has documented the impact of increased wages and benefits on home care workforce stability (Howes, 2002). This study supplements that research by examining additional factors that influence workers' intent to continue working as home care providers. Results are based on analysis of a random sample of 493 ethnically diverse workers in the predominantly female workforce in Alameda County. Preliminary results demonstrate that education, degree of financial strain, and worker-consumer relationships are additional determinants and that they vary by ethnicity. Results of a multivariate analysis will be presented, with a discussion of policies important to the retention and expansion of a qualified home care workforce.

Results and recommendations will be discussed within a multidisciplinary theoretical framework and within the context of current threats to the public authority structure, the independent provider model of care, and the wage and benefit gains of the past decade.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

Keywords: Home Care, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Work and the Laborforce in an Aging Society

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA