The number of elderly and disabled Americans in need of home care is increasing annually, even as the pool of people—almost always women—willing to do this job gets smaller and smaller. The Caring Class takes readers inside the reality of home health care by following the lives of women training and working as home health aides in the South Bronx. Richard Schweid examines home health care in detail, focusing on the women who care for our elderly and disabled loved ones, and how we fail to value their work. They are paid minimum wage in order that we might be absent, getting on with our own lives. The book calls for a rethinking of home health care and explains why changes are urgent. The current system offers neither a good way to live, nor a good way to die. By improving the job of home health aide, Schweid shows us, we can reduce income inequality, and create a pool of qualified, competent home health care providers who would contribute to the well-being of us all. The Caring Class also serves as a guide into the world of our home health care system. Nearly 50 million American families deal with caring for an elderly or disabled family member. This book explains the issues and choices they will face. Schweid explores the narratives, history, and people behind home health care in the United States, examining how we might improve the lives of both those who receive care and those who provide it.