“What Were They Thinking?”

In my last post, I talked about a round of in-service training we are doing at Support For Home In-Home Care, meeting with our Home Care Aides on a variety of topics, including home safety and teamwork with home health and hospice agencies. One of the major discussion items on the agenda is a new set of laws that will be impacting both wages and client / family costs for caregivers and home care.

I mentioned that one of our employees asked of the California state legislature, “What were they thinking?” I did not give my honest answer then, and I will not do so now. I just might be wrong – there is always a 3.74% possibility of that – but in honesty, aside from whether one intends to vote for them next time, it does not really matter.  What does matter is what are the consequences of what they were thinking – and of how that translated into legislation.

In the last post, I included a spreadsheet that showed the only model for employer-based home care agencies that will not result in dramatic cost increases for clients and families that need home care:

AB241 8-Hour Shifts for 24-Hour Care

I showed this model only to reflect how much professional caregivers would lose in the only employer-based model that will avoid cost increases.  A caregiver currently making $768 per week with Support For Home, working 4 24-hour shifts (which many folks are doing right now) will lose $448 per week in income, due to California AB241.

Frankly, we only showed this model – to our employees and to you – to indicate how absurd it would actually be. We will never implement that model for our employees and clients.

At last night’s in-service, however, one of our Home Care Aides told us that another agency is already converting to this 3 shifts of 8 hours model. We knew some agencies would, but we just cannot do that to our folks.

In the next post, I will talk about the other staffing and compensation models that we have explored, trying to find a good solution for caregivers and clients, but it is an ugly situation the California legislature has created – not for businesses, which may have been the aim of some politicians, but for caregivers and the clients they serve.

Best wishes. Bert


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