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SURVEY: Ex-Home Care Workers in Maine Explain Why They Quit

August 20, 2013

Former home care workers in Maine cited low wages and poor benefits as the primary reasons they quit their jobs, according to a survey published by the Scholar Strategy Network.

The author of the report, Sandra Butler of the University of Maine‘s Center on Aging, helped to interview 90 home care workers who left their positions between 2008 and 2011.

They found that nearly all of them said they loved providing care to their clients, but that that negative elements of their jobs outweighed the positive.

Younger workers were particularly dismayed by a lack of full-time hours as well as a sense that home care is an “older person’s job,” Butler writes.

Butler notes that most Maine home care workers are not unionized. In other states, such as California and New York, unionization has helped to improve the wages and benefits of direct-care workers, she writes.

However it is accomplished, improving the quality of home care jobs is necessary to “demonstrate society’s respect for the vital elder care work in which all Americans have an increasingly strong stake,” Butler adds.

— by Matthew Ozga

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