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Home care aides merit higher pay | READER COMMENTARY

An elderly man exercises as his home health aide makes the bed at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on May 30, 2019. The pandemic has made such assistance much more difficult to obtain. (Jackie Molloy/The New York Times)
An elderly man exercises as his home health aide makes the bed at his home in Stamford, Connecticut on May 30, 2019. The pandemic has made such assistance much more difficult to obtain. (Jackie Molloy/The New York Times)

Considering the increasing demand for home health services, it is unfortunate that staffing shortages are plaguing the home care industry (“Home care becomes harder to find,” July 27). Although the reasons for this are probably multifaceted, including recent immigration restrictions, low wages along with inadequate benefits are undoubtedly a major driver.

In Maryland in 2021, the average annual salary of a home health aide is $26,784, just slightly above the $26,500 poverty line for a household of four persons. Considering the low wages, difficult and often dangerous work, and increased availability of higher paying options, it is no wonder that staffing shortages exist.

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Solving this problem will probably require a fundamental restructuring of how home care services are organized and supported in the U.S., allowing home health aides to receive reasonable compensation for the valuable services they provide.

Beryl Rosenstein, Pikesville

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