[ti:Immigrants Play Big Part in Caring for Older Adults, Disabled in US]
[00:00.01]Proposed limits on immigration to the United States
[00:05.06]may worsen the nation's shortage of workers
[00:09.05]who care for old and disabled people, a new study finds.
[00:14.90]More than three million immigrants work within the U.S. healthcare system.
[00:21.26]That represents 18 percent of all health care workers.
[00:26.77]Nearly 25 percent of care providers in nursing homes nationwide are immigrants.
[00:34.62]Nursing homes care for elderly adults
[00:38.82]and people with a physical disability or long-term health disorder.
[00:44.81]Doctor Leah Zallman is a professor of medicine
[00:49.55]at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts.
[00:53.05]She was the lead writer of a report on the study.
[00:57.91]The report appeared earlier this month in the publication Health Affairs.
[01:03.55]Zallman said, "We rely heavily on immigrants to care
[01:08.66]for the elderly and disabled, particularly in their everyday care."
[01:14.35]To take a closer look at the importance of immigrants in the healthcare system,
[01:20.68]Zallman and other researchers examined the Annual Social
[01:26.16] and Economic Supplement of the 2018 Current Population Survey.
[01:32.27]The survey found that 1 million workers
[01:36.03]in the long-term healthcare industry were immigrants.
[01:39.93]That represents 23.5 percent of total workers in such jobs.
[01:46.18]Zallman noted that immigrants are especially likely to work overnight hours.
[01:52.36]"This is an industry that needs people round-the-clock," she said.
[01:57.33]"They [immigrants] are really filling the gaps."
[02:00.25]In 2017, more than 27 percent of direct care workers were immigrants.
[02:08.49]The study defined "direct care work" as nurses,
[02:12.51]home health aides or home care aides.
[02:16.20]Such workers help with everyday activities
[02:19.38]like helping people eat meals, put on clothes, and wash up.
[02:25.21]Nurses and health aides perform other duties,
[02:29.53]such as taking a patient's blood pressure and offering range-of-motion exercises.
[02:36.20]Home care aides may help clean a patient's home and cook food for them.
[02:42.49]They do not perform medical tasks.
[02:45.83]The elderly population in America is expected to double by the year 2050.
[02:53.33]Workers who are prepared to care for elderly or disabled patients
[02:58.25]are already in short supply, the researchers noted.
[03:02.29]The Health Resources and Services Administration predicts a 34-percent rise
[03:09.19]in the demand for direct care workers over the next 10 years.
[03:15.04]Last month, the administration of President Donald Trump proposed legislation
[03:21.52]that would reduce the number of legal immigrants
[03:24.75]while placing more importance on educated, skilled immigrants.
[03:29.69]Such changes, the report noted,
[03:33.48]"could sharply reduce the number of low-wage immigrant workers."
[03:38.31]Albert Wu is a doctor and professor of health policy
[03:43.23]at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Maryland.
[03:48.62]He called the new study "very important and timely."
[03:52.89]Wu said, "The current proposal to restrict immigration
[03:58.02]to more skilled or professional applicants runs directly counter
[04:03.02]to the need for this category of work."
[04:06.41]I'm Ashley Thompson. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM