What They’re saying

• Diane Paulson, manager attorney for the Medicare Advocacy Project at Greater Boston Legal Services, in a recent Chicago Tribune story about cutbacks in Medicare coverage for home health: "There’s a growing crisis in access to Medicare-covered home healthcare, particularly for people with complex and long-term medical conditions" such as congestive heart disease, multiple sclerosis, severe diabetes, spinal injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and the aftereffects of a stroke.

In an article about the best opportunities of the 1999 job market, the Chicago Tribune reports that home healthcare and elder care will be in demand, along with computer-systems analysts, engineers, paralegals, chemical technicians, special education teachers, aircraft mechanics/engine specialists, and corrections officers.

In a recent editorial urging Georgia’s state government to find more ways to help seniors live in their homes longer and to foster the creation of assisted living facilities, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported: "Between the aging of Georgia’s native boomers and the state’s growing popularity as a retirement haven, its elderly population is expected to grow from nearly 800,000 in 2000 to nearly a million by 2010. But many of those older citizens will not need the expensive care provided by nursing homes. Lots of them would do just fine with less costly assistance: assisted living facilities, personal-care homes, home healthcare, or community day care programs."

Minimum wage home care workers recently voted overwhelmingly in Contra Costa, CA, to unionize. "It’s a huge victory," union organizer Dana Simon told The San Francisco Chronicle. "This is something these workers have been fighting for no fewer than five years." The home healthcare workers represent the fourth California county, all of which are in the San Francisco Bay area, to unionize. Coming next, the Chronicle writes, are 85,000 Los Angeles home health aides that will vote on unionizing.