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High Turnover of Home Caregivers Makes Life Precarious for Many

The supply of home health aides isn’t meeting growing demand as America ages and many people prefer to stay out of facilities

By Clare Ansberry | Photographs by Michelle Gustafson for The Wall Street Journal

Jan. 22, 2023 1:02 pm ET

Mary Barket, a 66-year-old widow with a degenerative muscular disorder and no family around to help, has had seven different caregivers come through her home in the past six months.

On a recent Saturday morning, she was told by the home care agency that her caregiver wasn’t coming that day and that it couldn’t send a substitute, she says. Ms. Barket had one meal to last her until Monday, when the next caregiver was due.

“My hands don’t work. I can’t even open a box,” says Ms. Barket, who has ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. “It’s a very tenuous situation.”

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