Home health aides play a critical role in our country’s long-term care system. They provide very personal and often life-saving care for older adults who want to remain in their homes as they age. And, they provide much needed support for family caregivers who are struggling to balance other responsibilities including careers and raising young families.
But the stability home health aides provide is in jeopardy. Home health workers’ low wages, thin benefits, unpredictable schedules and other job challenges and stresses mean there is a shortage of qualified aides. As the economy has improved in recent years, many have left the industry for higher paying, more stable employment opportunities.
In recent years, Council on Aging (COA) has done a number of things to lessen the impact of the home health aide shortage on older adults in our region.
Additionally, in 2019, COA created the Service Excellence Awards to call attention to the important role the workforce plays in helping COA fulfill its mission. COA has recognized more than 110 local home health aides through this program.
Nominating a hard-working aide has never been easier. A simple nomination form and information is available on COA’s website. Through this form, COA staff andservice providers, members of the community, as well as COA clients, their family members and friends, can nominate a home health aide who works for one of COA’s contracted service providers.
“These awards are a reminder to this critical workforce that their efforts really do make a difference in the day-to-day lives of their clients,” said CEO Suzanne Burke.
Nominations are accepted throughout the year. Each nominee receives a Service Excellence Award certificate from Council on Aging. All Service Excellence Award nominations will be reviewed and considered for the Home Health Aide Hero Award, to be presented at Forum on Aging in March 2022. Up to three (3) Hero awards will be given each year. The Hero award includes a personalized award as well as a cash prize.