Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Fight for 15" rallies address wages of home health workers


The “Fight for 15” rally at the Martin Luther King Memorial near the Tidal Basin in Washington DC this evening (April 15, 2015) made a good point about home health workers (as caregivers). 

The gathering was rather small, but interesting.  There were some people with T-shirts reading “Home Care Workers Fight for 15”, including men. 
In 2009-2010 I (that is, my mother’s trust) normally paid $18 per hour for my mother’s home health care, which became 24x7 in the last ten weeks.  On holidays it was $27 per hour. I don’t know the exact amount that the caregivers were paid. 
 
Probably, with a minimum of $15 per hour, an agency would charge more like $21 or so.  So 24x7 would cost about $13000 a month.  Nursing home rates (already about $7000 a month in many areas) would go up, as would assisted living. 
  
But more families might have to hire the care workers directly, and deal with the W-2 withholdings and other legal exposures – they would have to become direct employers.  This is not good. 
  
Of course, home health workers are doing jobs that family members (especially non-spouses, like adult children) do not want to do and would have imposed on them.  Family responsibility isn’t always just about making wise choices.  

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