It’s time for people with disabilities to focus on thriving instead of just surviving.
The Rage Fund is on a mission to identify, promote, and implement solutions to foster a more inclusive and diversely-able world.
Huge barriers still stand in the way of people with disabilities experiencing full inclusion in their communities. Many spend their days struggling to find important resources as well as the in-home care providers that can be essential for assisting them with activities of daily living (getting in & out of bed, dressing, eating, bathrooming, etc.) and more. As a result, people with disabilities must limit their focus to survival rather than contributing their enormous gifts and talents to our society.
“About 4.5 million Americans with illnesses and disabilities are cared for at home by aides, therapists or nurses.1 Most of these patients are older, but hundreds of thousands are children with complex health needs, a number that continues to rise as advances in medicine and technology allow more to survive into adulthood.” (New York Times, 2021)
Demand for in-home care providers is high in the United States.
“More than 20 million people ages 18 and older reported having serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs in 2015, representing 7.1% of the civilian non-institutionalized population. Another 14 million people ages 18 and older reported having a difficult time doing errands alone (for example, shopping or visiting a doctor) due to physical, mental or emotional conditions.” (Pew Research Center, 2017)
The shortage of in-home care providers is reaching a crisis point in the US and around the world.
In 2016, a survey of over 500 people in Wisconsin with all types of disabilities showed that 95% experienced difficulty finding in-home caregivers and 85% reported not having enough caregivers to fill open shifts. There is a caregiver crisis in Wisconsin and this issue reaches far beyond The Rage Fund’s home state. The global shortage of nurses means greater difficulty filling in-home care roles that require a higher level of skill and training. (Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, 2016; World Health Organization, 2020)
Increased pay and other changes need to be made to attract more people into the profession. “Reimbursement rates need to be increased for home care, and also include health benefit packages, so that it becomes more of a valued health care role.” (The New York Times, 2021)
Lack of awareness exists around what’s great about being an in-home care provider (meaningful work, flexible hours, etc.), yet there is growing recognition for the need to raise wages.
“The median annual wage for home health and personal care aides was $27,080 in May 2020.” (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Direct support professionals earn inadequate wages and this affects their retention. (They Deserve More, 2020)
Private corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs are rallying support for more investment in the caregiver workforce. (TIME’S UP Care Economy Business Council, 2021)
Nursing homes do not all provide quality care and do not foster an environment that enable people with disabilities to lead independent & productive lives.
“Every quarter, the federal government rates nursing homes for staffing, assigning each facility 1 to five stars. The more stars, the more staffing per resident; 3 stars is average.” (WBEZ Chicago, 2020)
Why Should You Care?
- Our society will never reach its full potential until this large and powerful group is fully embraced.
- Family members of people with disabilities become the unpaid in-home care providers, which is a loss for the economy.
- The economic loss related to the exclusion of persons with disabilities from the labor force is 3 to 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (International Labor Organization, 2010)
Rage is the answer.
The Rage Fund is implementing the RAGE4CARE initiative, helping to create a broader community-based workforce of in-home care providers by:
Using social media to promote what makes working as an in-home care provider desirable.
Connecting with academic and training institutions to create awareness of the vocation of community-based in-home care providers.
Giving voice to potential solutions that will increase the number of innovative ideas for increasing the number of people interested in becoming in-home care providers.
RAGE4INFO (Part 1)
We are also developing RAGE4INFO, an app with a portal of information for all avenues of becoming an in-home care provider (personal hire workers, direct hired workers, private duty nurses, etc.) in any location within the Midwest. This is a central hub of everything someone needs to know to pursue a career as an in-home care provider.
RAGE4INFO (Part 2)
The Rage Fund will move swiftly to expand RAGE4INFO with a second portal for information about the disability support services available in all 50 states.
Many people with disabilities in the US are supported by state-funded services. This includes things like in-home care providers as well as vocational services and funding to pay for medical equipment. States differ greatly in what support services are available, to whom, and when. The complex nature of these systems present an added obstacle to adults with disabilities pursuing job opportunities and other goals. Navigating a whole new landscape of services makes the idea of relocating to a new state daunting for people with disabilities.
Together we can make RAGE a
positive life force for change.
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The Rage Fund was part of StartingBlock Madison’s 2021 Social Impact Cohort.