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Home Health Aides: More than just a job?

You may have heard this story before, or more recently on National Public Radio - More Than A Job: Home Care For A Mom With Alzheimer's Disease.  As adult educators, the following excerpt is hard to ignore:

"As the elderly population in the United States grows, an increasing number of people require extra help in their daily lives. Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for home health aides will grow 40% between 2016 and 2026. Hiring private caregivers, however, can be a financial burden for some families who can't afford to pay an average of $22,170 a year for extra help."

I'm curious how this demand is being felt by adult learners.  Many of us, as teachers, program managers, and other stakeholders, have talked about this growing field, but what about the learners themselves?  What are their stories?  

I would like to interview adults who are entering, currently attending, or who have recently completed home health aide training for a series to help the rest of us better reflect on what is going well, and what still needs to be improved to meet the growing demand for employees in the field.

Please share my contact information with those who may be interested in sharing their stories.  Stories can be shared publicly, or under conditions of anonymity in reporting back to the community.  Thanks for your help in spreading the word.  

Best,

Michael Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

Michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Comments

Julie McKinney's picture

Hi Michael,

I agree that this population and career path are worth exploring and supporting for many reasons. I'm sure you've seen this book: Project Care: Health Care Case Studies, Multimedia, and Projects for Practicing English. It's by Steve Quann and Diana Satin, who have both been in the adult education world for many years. They would be great people to talk to, as they have worked closely with many adult learners who have already shared their stories.

Good luck with this project!

Michael Cruse's picture

Hi, Julie -

Thank you for sharing this resource.  I'll be sure to check it out.  I'm in conversation with Diana about joining us here in the fall for an interview, and will be sure to ask her to highlight her work with this learner population.  Stay tuned!

Best,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

Michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Christine Nile's picture

I work with adult immigrants and refugees in Salem, Oregon at a local community college.  Our college has a  "Start your own small business" program, and recently I have thought about not only how our immigrant population studying English at our college are key future employees as Home Health Care Aides, but they could also consider creating a business model where they themselves become the employers hiring other immigrants to work as Home Health Care Aides.  The ethic of our immigrant students in regards to elder care and respect makes them extremely qualified in this field of work, and we all know the field is growing immensely.  

David J. Rosen's picture

Christine,

You may be interested in the work of the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) to help immigrants with entrepreneurship http://www.ilctr.org/promoting-immigrants/immigrant-entrepreneurship/, including these Resources for Immigrant Entrepreneurs that you will find on that web page:

ILC English for Entrepreneurs Class The Immigrant Learning Center Entrepreneur Class helps students practice dialogue and improve English grammar while learning to write a business plan and the basics of starting a business.

Global Entrepreneur In Residence Global EIR partners with universities to connect entrepreneurs with visas and allow them to grow their companies locally through a service commitment to the local community.

StreetWise ‘MBA’ This program from Interise provides small business owners with the business knowledge, management know-how, and the networks needed to grow established small businesses.

Center for Women and Enterprise Offers training and support for starting and growing businesses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont.

NYC Immigrant Business Initiative The New York City Department of Small Business Services offers business courses and resources to address specific needs of entrepreneurs in immigrant communities.

Denzil Mohammed, the Director of the ILC Public Education Institute, may be able to point you to good resources like this in Oregon.

David J. Rosen

 

Christine Nile's picture

David,  Thank you so much for these great resources regarding immigrants and entrepreneurship. 

I really appreciate it.

Christine Nile

Michael Cruse's picture

 Hi, Christine -

Your idea is a great one, and I hope you’re able to move the idea forward in Salem!  In addition to the resources David mentions, I’d also like to suggest a few others to help complete the picture of what you will likely need to get this idea off the ground.

If you have students with prior education in allied health from outside the U.S., you should be familiar with options for transcript evaluation.  The U.S. Department of Education has a document to help better understand the process, called, Obtaining, Interpreting, and Evaluating International Transcripts.  Another excellent organization to help understand this process is World Education Services.  

In addition to knowing how to work with patients, your plan requires some knowledge of the local, small business community.  You, and your students can learn a lot from the Small Business Administration, whose site is also available in Spanish.  You can also use this site to find your local office, many of which have volunteer mentors to help guide persons in writing a business plan.  Another important partner for you will be Oregon’s Workforce Investment Board, which can help you leverage state and regional supports.  Finally, I’d suggest looking for a higher education partner, like Oregon Health Science University, and their Public Health Department, which works in community engagement across the state.  The chances are good that OHSU, or another public university with a public health program, may be able to partner with you in some capacity, or at least be a good ally to know, and to have know your interest in creating this type of opportunity for your students.

I really hope that this is something you, and your collegues, are able to make happen with your learners.  It would be great to hear how your efforts progress, and share in your challenges and successes!

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

Michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Christine Nile's picture

Mike,

Thanks so much for all of these great resources for here in Oregon.  I really appreciate it.

Christine

 

Kelsey's picture

Hi Michael,

Unfortunately I have no personal connections to offer, but I did just watch this moving and insightful story yesterday on BBC News: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-43730216/a-solution-to-one-of-america-s-biggest-problems 

Michael Cruse's picture

Thank you, Kelsey, for sharing this clip!  It really gets across both the challenges facing the aging U.S. population, and the solution that our educated, and committed, immigrant communities can help to provide.  I can think of several people that I’m going to send this clip to, right now. 

Best,  

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

Michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Alison Ascher Webber's picture

Hi Michael, you may want to connect with SEIU labor-management (union/employer collaborative) training funds serving long-term care workers, such as the California Longterm Care Education Center (CLTCEC)(who I work with in CA on Mobile Up) but they also exist all over the country through  the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP). Sound like important work! Alison

Michael Cruse's picture

Thanks for sharing the link to H-CAP, Alison.  Do others know about their work?  Below is the mission statement from their website. 

The mission of H-CAP, a labor/management organization, is to transform healthcare workforce development and education, to support and engage a well-trained and valued workforce to better meet the need for quality care in a rapidly changing industry. We do this by: - Convening labor management leaders - Documenting and disseminating best practices across our network - Developing a collective agenda for system transformation

Are members interested in learning more about their work?  Let me know, and I can try to bring a representative from the H-CAP in to join our conversation.

Best,

Mike Cruse  

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

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