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Caring for Caregivers: Challenges of Paid Caring Labor in the United States Home Health Industry

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Date Issued:
2014
Abstract/Description:
My paper critically examines the U.S. home health aide industry through a feminist analysis of the relationships between home health aides, their patients, and the medical establishment. This research adds to current feminist scholarship on care work by focusing on the social, legal and personal relationships impacting the lives of those who give and receive care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides are one of the lowest paid members of the healthcare field, and hiring agencies expect high turnover rates and few long-term careers. Aides provide basic care services such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation for elderly and disabled clients. This industry is situated at the boundary between the public/private divide, leading to many challenges as paid care work is performed in private homes. Historically, care work was an expected duty done freely by the women of the family, but today much of the vital intimate caring labor is relegated to a workforce made up predominantly of immigrant and women of color. I add to feminist debates on gender and caregiving using intersectional analysis and standpoint theory; discussing how race and class impact women’s ability to care for their own families as they are paid very little caring for others. I address the implications for the medical establishment to promote sustainable caring relationships between care recipients and providers, and conclude that caring for the caregiver is essential in order to ensure a successful model for patient care.
Title: Caring for Caregivers: Challenges of Paid Caring Labor in the United States Home Health Industry.
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Name(s): Tunick, Rachel
Beoku-Betts, Josephine
Graduate College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Abstract
Date Created: 2014
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 1 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: My paper critically examines the U.S. home health aide industry through a feminist analysis of the relationships between home health aides, their patients, and the medical establishment. This research adds to current feminist scholarship on care work by focusing on the social, legal and personal relationships impacting the lives of those who give and receive care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides are one of the lowest paid members of the healthcare field, and hiring agencies expect high turnover rates and few long-term careers. Aides provide basic care services such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation for elderly and disabled clients. This industry is situated at the boundary between the public/private divide, leading to many challenges as paid care work is performed in private homes. Historically, care work was an expected duty done freely by the women of the family, but today much of the vital intimate caring labor is relegated to a workforce made up predominantly of immigrant and women of color. I add to feminist debates on gender and caregiving using intersectional analysis and standpoint theory; discussing how race and class impact women’s ability to care for their own families as they are paid very little caring for others. I address the implications for the medical establishment to promote sustainable caring relationships between care recipients and providers, and conclude that caring for the caregiver is essential in order to ensure a successful model for patient care.
Identifier: FA00005859 (IID)
Collection: FAU Student Research Digital Collection
Note(s): The Fifth Annual Graduate Research Day was organized by Florida Atlantic University’s Graduate Student Association. Graduate students from FAU Colleges present abstracts of original research and posters in a competition for monetary prizes, awards, and recognition
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005859
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.