The Trump administration recently issued a directive to revoke the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for tens of thousands of immigrants from poverty stricken countries living in the country, many of whom who have found roles in the home healthcare market. With the cost of in-home and assisted living facility growing every year, the change could potentially add to those costs and put seniors and the disabled in a more difficult financial situation.
Approximately 59,000 Haitians came to live in the United States after the 2010 earthquake which devastated the country. Nursing homes and in-home care providers are already reporting staffing shortfalls as immigrants who found employment in their sectors have returned home for fear of forced deportation after losing their legal status. Even despite the threat of deportation, many immigrants working in nursing homes and as in-home health aides do not stay long in these jobs as they find professions in much higher paying sectors of the economy.
In Boston, Massachusetts for example, some elder care providers are speaking out about the selfless, hard work that their immigrant employees living on TPS status perform for long hours and modest pay. With many coming from nations where the witnessed humanitarian crises and seek to give back as part of the aid they themselves received in their times of need.
In addition to their hours and wages, many in home and facility caregivers have seen their rates of accident and injury rise as a result of the physical demanding nature of their jobs. A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the accident rate for caregivers in 2016 was triple the national average. The common causes of injury were falling, overexertion while lifting or lowering, and even enduring violent attacks from patients.
As 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day in this country, the assisted living facility and in-home caregiver market can little afford to face shortfalls in staffing. Many advocacy groups point out that these companies will likely have to makeup for the potential impact by cutting back on the hours that caregivers can work. Without the pool of workers willing to take on the long hours and demanding nature of the profession, many seniors and the disabled are likely to face tougher conditions in the situations they find themselves in and may likely suffer as a result.