An estimated 2.5 million people work as in-home health and personal aides for the elderly and disabled in this country. Tasks include helping with meals and bathing, light cleaning and companionship. These services can allow an elderly person to postpone or avoid costlier nursing home care. As baby boomers age, demand for this kind of care is projected to rise significantly. But in many states, in-home health care providers earn less than minimum wage and are not entitled to overtime. What the shortage of caregivers means for patients, their families and the home health care industry.


  • Bruce Vladeck former director of Medicare and Medicaid during the Clinton administration.
  • Val Halamandaris president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
  • Carol Regan government affairs director at PHI, Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.
  • Susan Dentzer senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and on-air analyst on health issues for the PBS NewsHour.

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