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Solutions Journalism

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These stories are produced through the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations and universities dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about successful responses to social problems. The group is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network. If you have story tips, email Karen Magnuson (karen@solutionsjournalism.org) of the Solutions Journalism Network or Tracy Samilton (samilton@umich.edu) at Michigan Radio.

The collaborative’s first series, Invisible Army: Caregivers on the Front Lines, focuses on potential solutions to challenges facing caregivers of older adults.

Caregivers are in short supply due to a rapidly growing older population that is living longer and requiring more assistance. The caregivers who step up, both family members and those who are paid to do the job, face many physical, emotional and financial challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

As Michigan ages, a shortage in health care workers explodes into a crisis

Feb 5, 2021
a home healthcare worker helps an elderly woman walk down a hallway
Chris duMond / Detroit News

Living alone in a Grand Rapids apartment, 84-year-old Nancy Klomparens clings to her independence — and has the injuries to show for it.

Poor eyesight contributed to a series of falls, as she said she’s fractured her back five times in the past four years. Once a week, she depends on a home care worker to drive her to the grocery store and help with shopping and other chores.

Innovation, bonuses may help curb Michigan’s home health care shortage

Feb 5, 2021
a caregiver hands a newspaper to her charge
Craig Ruttle / Detroit News

Like home care agencies across the country, New York City’s Cooperative Home Care Associates faced a nagging challenge: How to hire and retain quality direct care workers?

Starting small, in 1985, the agency has become a nationwide model for what experts nationwide say is a burgeoning crisis in home health workers. From an initial staff of 12 home health aides, it now employs more than 2,000. And unlike the vast majority of home care agencies, it’s employee-owned: Workers have the option of buying into the company.