Episode 112 - Dr. Sandra Butler: Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Home Care Workers and Factors Affecting Turnover and Retention

Monday, February 04, 2013, 9:09:15 AM

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In this episode, Dr. Sandra Butler discusses her work and findings with the Maine Home Healthcare Retention Study. Putting a human face on "the centerpiece of our long-term care system," Dr. Butler describes the predictors of turnover and retention and how the workers themselves describe their jobs. She tells us what she has learned about why these workers stay and why significant numbers of them leave their positions.

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Average Rating: 5stars  protection for workers, Sunday, February 09, 2014

By Jenna Carr :

Having worked as a caretaker in both the early childhood and elder care fields I found this podcast extremely interesting. Although I knew a good deal of the information that was discussed (such as being a caretaker is a low-status, low-income field) I was surprised by the statistics. I worked in this field although I had a bachelor’s degree and I could have been paid more working fast food at Mighty Taco. I could have made four dollars more an hour working at LaserTron. I was also surprised to learn that it is less expensive to keep the elderly at home than it is to institutionalize them. Of course this leads to the issue of our society’s priorities and respect for care workers. Dr. Herman noted that eighty percent of care workers are women. I couldn’t help but wonder if the lack of respect and pay for these workers is related to gender inequality since the work is largely considered “women’s work.” I had to agree with the themes Dr. Butler found when asked why workers left, specifically, that it “wasn’t worthwhile.” Workers have little protection. I was disappointed to hear about the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Companion Exemption but not surprised to hear it.

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