For thousands of older people throughout New England, paid caregivers are a lifeline. But the need for people who provide care is much greater than the supply. Call to Care NH, a companion program to the national documentary
AMERICA REFRAMED: CARE,
looks at some solutions to that problem.
"One in five NH residents will be over the age of 65 by 2020," says Kelly Laflamme, Endowment for Health program director. "Paid caregivers are a critical support to healthy aging."
The caregivers featured in Call to Care NH are deeply committed to their careers. Home health aide Peggy Drouin began caring for her elderly neighbors when she was just eight. Roger Maurier decided to become a professional caregiver while looking for a passion to pursue in retirement.
Laflamme says, "Paid caregiving is rewarding work but more needs to be done to ensure that this professional calling is valued, fairly compensated and supported. For that reason, the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging has a workforce group focused on the critical issues facing direct care workers."