Objectives: This report presents national estimates of home health aides providing assistance in activities of daily living (ADLs) and employed by agencies providing home health and hospice care in 2007. Data are presented on demographics, training, work environment, pay and benefits, use of public benefits, and injuries.
Methods: Estimates are based on data collected in the 2007 National Home Health Aide Survey. Estimates are derived from data collected during telephone interviews with home health aides providing assistance with ADLs and employed by agencies providing home health and hospice care.
Results: In the United States in 2007, 160,700 home health and hospice aides provided ADL assistance and were employed by agencies providing home health and hospice care. Most home health aides were female; approximately one-half were white and one-third black. Approximately one-half of aides were at least 35 years old. Two-thirds had an annual family income of less than $40,000. More than 80% received initial training to become a home health aide and more than 90% received continuing education classes in the previous 2 years. Almost three-quarters of aides would definitely become a home health aide again, and slightly more than one-half of aides would definitely take their current job again. The average hourly pay was $10.88 per hour. Almost three-quarters of aides reported that they were offered health insurance by their employers, but almost 19% of aides had no health insurance coverage from any source. More than 1 in 10 aides had had at least one work-related injury in the previous 12 months.
Conclusions: The picture that emerges from this analysis is of a financially vulnerable workforce, but one in which the majority of aides are satisfied with their jobs. The findings may be useful in informing initiatives to train, recruit, and retain these direct care workers.