Home Agencies Living Well:  JFS is valuing care providers and their work

Living Well:  JFS is valuing care providers and their work

Graduates of JFS’ East End PCA School in April 2022, about to begin their careers as Care Aides.

The population of Richmond is getting older. You might have heard it called the “Age Wave” or the “Silver Tsunami” but as the Baby Boomers age, it is having a profound impact on how people live and work across the U.S.

According to the Cooper Center at UVA, the Richmond region has seen steep growth in the number of seniors, up 50% in  the last 10 years; with another 30% increase expected by 2040, adding 50,000 more seniors. This growth in the number of elders has led to seniors being 16% of the  total population, a higher percentage of the population than school-aged children.

An AARP survey reports that over 95% of seniors want to live in their own homes-whether they be apartments, condos, townhouses, or houses—choosing to “age in place”.  For many elders aging in place is possible; for many more, aging in place can be done if they have a little help with life’s basic tasks.  Jewish Family Services provides help in their homes and care to seniors and others so they can continue to live their life with dignity in the place that they choose.

Eva had worked as a hospice nurse and transitioned to caring for seniors at JFS. “The gratitude I feel every day when I go to my clients—It’s wonderful!”

Care Providers  are Companions, Personal Care Aides(PCAs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and all offer compassionate, personalized care to their clients in the client’s home.  Their work is essential to their client’s ability to age in place, their wellness, and their social engagement. And yet, their work has tended to be undervalued.

JFS is proud to announce the launch of a pilot program, “Living Well: Valuing Care Providers and Their Work.”

Jewish Family Services and our non-profit partner,  Family Lifeline,  will work together to build equity, capacity and community.  Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and Bob and Ann Lou Schaberg Foundation are supporting the three year initiative to advance the home care workforce through compensation, training and accessibility.

Specifically, the initiative will:

  • Support a competitive compensation package that offers a $15-per-hour minimum wage to all Care Providers.
  • Establish a dependable system of back-up transportation to help Care Providers travel to assignments in distant locations or challenging situations, decrease employment barriers and increase reliability of services.
  • Expand Care Providers’ skills, knowledge, and confidence with holistic training opportunities.

All partners in the pilot program hope that addressing the issue of wages head on will start to create systemic change for traditionally undervalued Care Providers.

At the same time, greater access to transportation and technology will make the Home Health field more attractive to the generations of future Care Providers we need to ensure that elders can choose to get the care they require to have engaged and dignified lives where they want to live.

Do you know someone who needs a help from a JFS Care Provider?  Are you caring for an aging relative or friend who needs more regular care?  Just want to talk to someone about options in your unique situation?  Call JFS Home Care for a personal consultation.  804-282-5644

JFS has already received calls and notes from several neighbors who received gifts from Lights of Love.

One elderly gentleman, with emotion in his voice, left a message saying, “Thank you very much to all the volunteers for the gifts that I received. Thank you for doing that for me, and I hope you had a nice holidays and New Years. Take care.”

 Jewish Family Services is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution and programming grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.