Home healthcare workers take care of adults in the community. These workers are mostly middle-aged women from racial/ethnic minorities who typically earn low wages. Despite their circumstances, home healthcare workers continue to play a key role in supporting patients with confirmed and suspected COVID-19 infection who remain at home. Researchers interviewed 33 home healthcare workers from 24 different agencies to understand their personal work experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York (the COVID-19 epicenter for many weeks). 97% were women, 64% were Black and 18% were Hispanic/Latino. Researchers found that home healthcare workers (1) were on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic but felt invisible; (2) reported an increased risk for virus spread; (3) received different amounts of support (including information, supplies, and training) from their home care agencies; (4) relied on non-agency alternatives for support, including information and supplies; and (5) were forced to make difficult sacrifices in their work and personal lives. Overall, the workers reported that they were at increased risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. Despite providing important care to vulnerable patients, home health care workers felt under-supported and generally invisible.
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