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Large Number of Older Direct-Care Workers Spotlighted in AP Article

January 7, 2014

The Associated Press reported on the growing number of people who are age 55+ and employed as direct-care workers in an article published on January 6. 

In “Seniors Fill Ranks of Caregiving Workforce for Elderly,” journalist Matt Sedenksy cites PHI data (pdf) that shows that 29 percent of direct-care workers are projected to be 55 or older by 2018, up from 22 percent a decade earlier. 

Home health aides, personal care aides, and aides who are self-employed or working directly in private households are the direct-care occupations with the largest number of older workers (pdf).

“There’s often people who have chronic disease themselves who have to muster up the energy to perform these really physically taxing caregiving needs,” PHI Associate Policy Director Abby Marquand is quoted as saying.

Warren Manchess, a 74-year-old home care worker who provides services and supports to Paul Gregoline, a 92-year-old client with Alzheimer’s disease, is featured in the article.

“Halfway through my shift, I’m a little weary myself,” Manchess said. “It takes its toll.”

Yet Manchess adds that caregiving is the most “rewarding” job that he has ever had, including being an Air Force pilot.

— by Deane Beebe

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