12. May 2009 21:34
This past weekend the Washington Post magazine published an in-depth story about senior caregiving, profiling a 63-year-old caregiver, Marilyn Daniel, who cares for multiple senior clients as a home health aide. The story mentions the turnover rate of 40 to 60% for direct-care workers and the low pay. Although the article says caregiving does not pay much more than minimum wage, which is actually inaccurate, as the federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour and Marilyn Daniel is paid $12.40 per hour, nearly double the federal minimum wage.
Caregiving actually does pay much more than the minimum wage in every state and Caregiverlist provides the minimum wage information in every state to help caregivers negotiate their pay rate. The highest minimum wage is in Washington state, at $8.55 per hour, followed by Oregon state at $8.40 per hour and then by California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, all paying $8.00 per hour. Most state minimum wages are somewhere between $6.55 and $7.25 per hour.
As is often noted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the occupation of senior home care aides as the second-fastest-growing occupation in the U.S.A. with projections for a more than 50 percent increase in caregivers during the next decade.
Payroll taxes are typically another 25% of a caregiver's pay (Social Security, Unemployment, Worker's Compensation Insurance), although a caregiver does not see this money as take-home pay, but rather as payments direct to these benefits.
How much do you think caregivers should be paid? Should there be set increases according to advanced training completed and skills tests?seniorcare