Celebrating Black History Month: African American Carers
Updated: Feb 28
African Americans have played a significant role in the care of the elderly in America, both as caregivers and recipients of care. Despite facing discrimination and bias, they have made significant contributions to the field of senior care and have worked to improve the lives of older adults.
One of the most notable contributions of African Americans to elderly care is their work as caregivers. Many African American women have worked as home health aides, providing care and support to older adults in their homes. These women have played a vital role in helping older adults maintain their independence and dignity and have often formed strong bonds with the individuals they care for.
African American men have also made significant contributions to senior care. In particular, many African American men have worked as nursing assistants and have provided crucial support to older adults in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. These men have often faced racial discrimination and bias on the job but have persevered and have provided invaluable care to older adults.
In addition to their work as caregivers, African Americans have also played vital roles in advocating for the rights and needs of older adults. Many African American organisations, such as the National Black Nurses Association and the National Black Coalition on Aging, have worked to improve the quality of care for older adults and have approved policies that support older adults and their caregivers.
Despite these contributions, African Americans have also faced significant challenges in senior care. Discrimination and bias have often made it difficult for African Americans to find employment in senior care, and many have been paid less than their white counterparts for the same work. For example, According to a National Women's Law Center report, African American home health aides earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by white home health aides. African American caregivers have also faced discrimination and bias from employers and clients and have sometimes been denied the same opportunities as white caregivers.
Despite this, African Americans continue to make essential contributions to the senior care field. They have worked to improve older adults’ lives and advocated for policies and programs supporting them and their caregivers. Their contributions have been vital to the senior care field and have helped ensure that older adults receive the care and support they need.
In conclusion, African Americans have played a significant role in elderly care across America as caregivers and advocates for improved quality of life despite facing discrimination and bias. GG Care, a technology that transforms Amazon Alexa into a virtual care companion, was created by an African American carer to help incorporate his grandmother's favourite music, gospel, into her care. GG Care's technology has helped her live independently and automate some of his care responsibilities.
It's essential to continue to recognise and support the contributions of African Americans in the field of senior care and to work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for older adults and their caregivers.