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The Gerontologist 45:593-600 (2005)
© 2005 The Gerontological Society of America

A Profile of Home Care Workers From the 2000 Census: How It Changes What We Know

Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, PhD1, Lyn HolleyPhD 2, Jerome Deichert, MA3 and Karl Kosloski, PhD2

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201. E-mail: rm{at}

Purpose: The goal of our study was to identify a representative sample of direct care aides to generate an accurate profile of the long-term-care workforce, with a special focus on home care workers. Design and Methods: Data were taken from the 5% Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the 2000 Census. Results: Variable coding in the 2000 Census data allowed for a more detailed identification of long-term-care workers than was available in previous studies. On the basis of this new sample, the estimated size of the home care workforce is much larger than that in previous estimates, and it is more heterogeneous. In addition, our analyses revealed more self-employed workers, higher salaries than previously reported, and greater ethnic diversity, with Hispanics or Latinos comprising a significant proportion of the home care workforce. Implications: Numerous state and federal programs are currently underway to increase the capacity of the long-term-care workforce. A more comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the long-term-care workforce will facilitate more effective development of programs designed to enhance recruitment and retention of these workers to meet the increasing demands of future years.

Key Words: Long-term care • Community-based care • Long-term-care workforce

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Copyright © 2005 by The Gerontological Society of America.