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NPR Documents Rise of Immigrants in Home Care Workforce

December 13, 2012

Immigrants may become an even more important segment of the home care workforce, according to a recent National Public Radio (NPR) story

NPR reporter Marisa Penaloza notes in her report that nearly a quarter of the home care workforce is foreign-born.

“As the boomers retire and choose to age at home, many see documented immigrants as offering one of the best hopes to prevent a labor shortage in the home care industry,” Penaloza says.

However, the home care workforce will not grow in proportion to the rising demand for home care unless wages are higher, said Michael Elsas, the president of Cooperative Home Care Associates, the Bronx-based worker-owned home care agency affiliated with PHI.

Noting that society doesn’t properly value the work of caregivers, Elsas tells Penaloza that “we pay [sanitation workers] more than we pay the worker that takes care of our elderly population.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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