Friday, March 13, 2009
The PHI (Paraprofessionals Healthcare Institute) is hosting lawmakers and other officials across the state in a series of "Come Care With Me" events to highlight the health care gap and working conditions of direct care workers. State Representative Dan Frankel of Pittsburgh says the Commonwealth is facing a growing shortage of direct care workers who provide home and community-based care to seniors and disabled Pennsylvanians. Frankel says later today he will be working with a direct care provider and their client to get a sense of the challenges they face daily. In addition, Frankel will attend a forum at the Essex House in East Liberty to discuss elder care and disability services. Frankel says "it's ironic" that health care benefits have never been part of the compensation package for direct care workers who provide much needed health services. Frankel says because of poor pay and a lack of health benefits, there is a high turnover rate and that can affect the consistency of care for the elderly and disabled.