Elder Home Care Workers – A Growing Workforce

In-home health care is one of the fastest-growing employment and business areas in the U.S. The aging of the U.S. population ensures that more people than ever need care equipment and services; the U.S. Labor Department is estimating that more than 3.2 million elder-care health workers will be needed by 2020. That is an almost 70 percent jump from the 1.9 million workers employed in 2010.

However, the industry is poised for an overhaul. The median wage in 2010 for home health workers was $9.70 an hour, with no health care benefits. Now many labor unions are pushing for a home-care worker union in order to harness the growing force.

Can those workers unionize? Opinions are mixed, and are following some party lines. While many home-health workers are independent contractors, others are paid through Medicare or Medicaid, which effectively places them as public employees. Here in Michigan, a law was recently enacted which bars home-health unionization.

If you are concerned about how you will be able to finance the in-home care you or your loved one may need down the road, consider working with an elder law or estate planning attorney to explore your long-term planning options.

Christopher J. Berry is a Michigan elder law attorney Dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.theeldercarefirm.com/ or call 248.481.4000

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