Helping our helpers

Helping our helpers

(NAPSI)-Many Americans are urging their legislators to read a report by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) highlighting the critical shortage of private-sector direct-support workers and the need for better wages to prevent high turnover. Members of this workforce provide a wide range of daily Medicaid-funded services that enable people with disabilities and the elderly to enjoy living and working in their own communities. The support workers help with health care, personal care and hygiene, employment training, transportation, recreation, housekeeping and other daily living needs that save the expenses associated with state institutionalization.
The problem, explained Renee Pietrangelo, CEO of ANCOR, is the difference in pay for Medicaid-funded services delivered to people with disabilities by private agencies and state-operated programs. "Without an increase in funding for community Medicaid services, the private-sector direct-support workforce will continue to receive subpar wages and there will continue to be high turnover. All this affects the availability and quality of their supports and services," she added.
Anyone interested in being part of the solution to address this growing health care crisis can learn more from the Direct Support Professionals Wage Study available at www.youneedtoknowme.org.