News Roundup May 1st, 2020

In recent news, the Associated Press has given new special attention to home health care workers as they’re stepping up to the challenge of caring for coronavirus patients. The release has been making a few rounds across different sites such as the New York Times.

More here: Boston News

“Home care nurses, aides and attendants — who normally help an estimated 12 million Americans with everything from bathing to IV medications — are now taking on the difficult and potentially dangerous task of caring for coronavirus patients.”

COVID-19 continues to present challenges to home healthcare workers. Gaps are revealed in how frontline caregivers are supported. In Portland, Oregon reports of clinicians describe issues of compromised safety due to PPE backlog, or laissez faire approach in public health and protection among citizenry, and additionally, agencies without the resources or means to provide equipment and supplies to protect their workers. 

From KGW8 News in Oregon

“Many of the men and women who go into someone’s home to help them are called home care providers, and they are some of the least protected during this pandemic.”

The pandemic takes its toll on home healthcare workers. Many are finding the structures they operate in are under extreme strain. As many agencies are having difficulties providing protective PPEs, finances become a growing source of worry. In Las Vegas, the median average hourly wage for PCAs is $11.47. Many workers are underpaid. This creates a potential for a huge health risk.

From Review Journal in Las Vegas

“Personal care aides provide a crucial lifeline to their housebound clients, many of them elderly or disabled. In addition to duties like grocery shopping and providing companionship, they help clients with essential daily activities like bathing, eating and cooking.”

Finally, in other news, Vermont is giving more attention to the rising need of Home Healthcare workers. The theme of this week’s round up has been recognition of Home Health workers as a new force in the battle against COVID-19.

Read on: Seven Days, Vermont’s Independent Voice

“Frisch, 37, is among hundreds of nurses and personal care aides in Vermont who have been working on an invisible front line against the COVID-19 pandemic. Six days a week, she drives around the county to visit patients in their homes. Some are dying from terminal illnesses, some need help to continue living on their own and, lately, some are fending off the virus.”