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What you need to know: Legislative

Home Care Aide Council Welcomes Legislators

Wednesday, February 8, 2017  
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Working with Senator Pat Jehlen and Representative Denise Garlick, the Home Care Aide Council and the Home Care Aide Council Foundation welcomed legislators and funders to an informational legislative briefing at the State House in Boston on February 2 for a report on the issues effecting the home care aide industry. Lisa Gurgone, Executive Director, illustrated that the number of Massachusetts residents who are 60 and older is increasing rapidly as is the desire for seniors to age in place. With the impending change in demographics, there will be an increased demand for home care aides and personal care aides. Developing this workforce now and ensuring their success is a priority for the Council.

Legislators and their staff who attended also heard from Hayley Gleason, Associate Director, about several grants that the Home Care Aide Council Foundation is working with to further workforce development such as the HEART Consortium Workforce Development Initiative. The goal of this program is to assist low-income, under-employed or unemployed individuals (particularly targeting those in a specific geographic area of Boston living in public housing) in gaining employment as home care aides. A student who recently graduated from the HEARTS program was present at the event to talk about her newly received home health aide training and what the opportunity means for her and her family. 

Senator Jehlen encouraged her colleagues to learn more and support public policy that will help the home care agencies invest in their employees and develop a qualified workforce. Representative Garlick also addressed the audience saying, “the Council has woven straw out of gold.” She believes that increased funding is necessary to help train home care aides and provide home care agencies with the means to retain qualified individuals in this workforce.