The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought the home care industry into the forefront. The undervalued and under -appreciated contribution of caregivers is now being given due attention all thanks to the pandemic and President Joe Biden’s administration in the White House.
The underrated contributions of the caregivers are being given enough fuel to keep the industry running.
President Joe Biden’s newly-released infrastructure plan that includes $400 billion towards home care is an appreciable move towards addressing the short-term and long-term needs of the caregivers. As per the new American Jobs Plan, in theory, much of the funding will be used to improve low-wage caregiving jobs, which are often held by women and people of color.
“These investments will help hundreds and thousands of Americans finally obtain the long-term services and support they need while creating new jobs and offering caregiving workers a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits, and an opportunity to organize or join a union and collectively bargain,” a White House fact sheet read.
The pandemic has increased the urgency to ensure that all Americans get easy access to affordable and quality home and personal care. Efforts to extending premium care to those in need seem to advance as the administration’s clear focus is on home care, Medicaid, home and community-based services.
A ‘monumental advance’
A sitting U.S. president actively supporting in-home care to the tune of $400 billion is a major victory. The Biden administration’s support for home-based care is a “monumental advance” in the decades-long effort to provide full access to health care outside of an institution, William A. Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), told Home Health Care News.
“This effort deserves the complete support of the Congress and the American public,” Dombi said. “It is time we honor our parents and grandparents with the opportunity to age in place and to provide full access to the least restrictive health care environment for persons with disabilities. The benefits of home care are long-established. We all should work to remove any barriers to homecare, including unnecessary care waiting lists and insufficient caregiver compensation. The caregivers should be given the high respect they deserve along with fair compensation for the essential services they provide.”
An injection of funds would certainly benefit the caregivers in several ways:
- It will boost the workforce for caregivers especially during such challenging times when the demand for care continues to escalate.
- They will get the due respect they deserve.
- Improve compensation for the essential services they provide.
- Increase quality of life, which will yield significant economic benefits for low-income communities.
The announcement to invest in the homecare business has come as a beacon of hope for agencies and caregivers. Industry advocates can also be seen applauding the announcement.
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