Home health aides, home care workers, and personal care attendants form the core of the paid home care system, providing assistance with activities of daily living and the personal interaction that is essential to quality of life and quality of care for their clients. High turnover and long vacancy periods are costly for providers, consumers, their families, and workers themselves. In 2002, 37 states identified worker recruitment and retention as major priority issues. Demographic and economic trends do not augur well for the future availability of quality home care workers. Policymakers in the areas of health, long-term care, labor, welfare, and immigration must partner with providers, worker organizations, and researchers to identify and implement the most successful interventions for developing and sustaining this workforce at both policy and practice levels. The future of home care will depend, in large part, on this “third rail” of long-term care policy.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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