202814 Health Promotion Needs among Home Care Aides: Let's Listen to Their Voices

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:45 AM

Naoko Muramatsu, PhD , Division of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Valentina V. Lukyanova, M A , Division of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Rosemary K. Sokas, MD, MOH, MSc , Office of Occupational Medicine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington, DC
Joseph Zanoni, MILR , Continuing Education and Outreach Illinois Occupational and Environmental Education and Research Center, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Home care aides play critical roles for seniors to stay in the community by providing housekeeping and routine personal care services. While promoting health among those workers is essential for strengthening this core workforce, little is known about their health issues. To understand home care aides' perceptions of their own health promotion needs and their current and potential roles for their clients' health, we conducted six focus groups with home care aides as well as a focus group with home care supervisors in a large Midwest city. Our research revealed work stress as a dominant factor leading to mental and physical health problems (e.g., hypertension, depression, injuries) among home care aides. Given the need for income and the lack of health benefits, home care aides continue to work despite health problems, often resulting in long-term health consequences (e.g., chronic pain, diabetes). On the other hand, chronic health problems sometimes motivate home care aides to make proactive changes, such as starting exercising. Home care aides identified facilitators and barriers for health promoting behaviors as well as several factors that may help lessen their work stress: enhanced hands-on training, increased availability of clients' health and family information, and health promoting/stress reduction programs. Home care aides are already playing important roles to promote health and function among frail home-bound seniors, and their potential roles should be further explored. Promoting health among home care aides is important not only to address their health needs, but also to provide quality home care.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify health promotion needs among home care aides. 2.Identify current and potential roles of home care aides in health promotion for seniors.

Keywords: Home Care, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am doing research and teaching as a university faculty member.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.