Monday, June 26, 2006
$25.00/hr - An Addendum to "I Can't Get It for You Wholesale"
A while back I discovered one of the prices (representative, I imagine, for area) being put on hourly caregiver labor, which can include almost anything avocational caregiving includes. The price came from a New York Times article published February 9, 2006, called Aging At Home about a community program that promises to be the "coming thing" in home care for the elderly and infirm. Beacon Hill Village is the neighborhood non-profit organization to which one can belong, within a circumscribed community, that will be your on-the-spot caregiver, for dues. The model is being lauded across the country. Beacon Hill Village will soon be publishing a how-to manual for other communities. As of the writing of the article, dues for the Boston community ranged from $550/year for "an individual" to $780/year for "a family". This, and you get to stay in your own home. "A la carte services", also referred to as "Concierge Service", are extra, although "discounted". "The cost of an aide," the article mentions, "about $25.00 an hour, would be prohibitive for many."
I'll say. As far as 'round the clock care is concerned, "...as an organization, Beacon Hill Village made an early decision, for financial and legal reasons, not to own real estate or directly provide medical care. Thus, it has no homegrown solution for members who cannot stay at home." Or, for that matter, those who need a round the clock presence in the manner in which avocational caregivers serve.
The point is this: Finally, an hourly price is being assigned to what I do: $25.00/hour. This, of course, is a to-the-organization cost. It includes profit, all taxes and the cost of hiring the employee, who probably makes anywhere from $10.00 - $15.00/hour, depending on experience. Still, that's a pretty penny. And, if I was contracting out as a self-employed "Concierge", I'd certainly charge, to me, what the organization is charging, in order to cover all my business expenses.
I'm beginning to get the sneaking feeling that if we want to focus on taking care of our citizens within our communities and families, we are going to have to come up with another economic model within which to do it. Capitalism isn't safe and, anyway, it isn't working. While it's true, the per-year dues for Beacon Hill Village is not "prohibitive", the basic problem of what to do when a care recipient needs in-home community has not yet been breached, except by nursing homes and the odd subculture here and there.
In the meantime, no one can afford me.
All material copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson