• Report

Understanding direct care workers: A snapshot of two of America’s most important jobs

Citation

Khatutsky, G., Wiener, J., Anderson, W., Akhmerova, V., Jessup, E., & Squillace, M. R. (2011). Understanding direct care workers: A snapshot of two of America’s most important jobs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Abstract

Direct care workers - nurse aides, home health aides, and personal and home care aides - are the primary providers of paid hands-on care for more than 13 million elderly and disabled Americans. They assist individuals with a broad range of support including preparing meals, helping with medications, bathing, dressing, getting about (mobility), and getting to planned activities on a daily basis. Their service and dedication is exemplary and their role in enhancing the lives of others is vital. They make it possible for individuals to live meaningful lives in their homes and communities and remain connected to their families.

Although direct care workers constitute one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the workforce, there is a documented critical and growing shortage of these workers in every community throughout the United States. There is significant need to attract many more direct care workers in the near future.