Document Type


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This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


Publisher location

Portland, Maine

Place of conference

Blaine House Conference on Aging

Abstract/ Summary

Thousands of workers across Maine and the nation provide assistance and health care for elders as well as adults and children with disabilities. The Maine Department of Labor estimates that there were about 17,600 direct care workers employed in 2005, which does not include self-employed workers in private pay arrangements. As baby boomers retire over the next 20 years, the demand for direct care and personal assistance services will continue to grow, making direct care occupations some of the highest demand jobs in the state. There is already a labor shortage in this area of work, and thus long-term consumers are often unable to get the care that they need. As this labor shortage is going to be increasingly more dramatic, this paper evaluates barriers as well as means to meet the need for these frontline workers. The current initiatives include the Maine Personal Assistance Services Association, the Maine State Employee Association, and the Maine Direct Care Worker Coalition, among others. This report puts an emphasis on coordinating state level planning efforts, providing livable wages and benefits to frontline direct care workers, investing in training, career pathway development and workplace culture changes, and marketing the profession.


pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.