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Home health care: It’s a grim world with victims on both sides

Scott LaPierre

“Most Boston Globe investigations begin with an assignment or a tip. This one started out with my life.”

So writes reporter Linda Matchan in her two-part Boston Globe series, “Stranger In The House,” about the home care workforce in Massachusetts.

She was drawn into the story reluctantly, after her husband was diagnosed with ALS, and she turned to these workers for support.

Shocked that some of the aides she hired were unqualified, uncaring — and worse — she eventually did what she normally does for a living: Start reporting to see if there was a story to tell.

There was. She found it in court documents and in personal tales of abuse and neglect by home health aides.


She also found the story reached as far away as Ghana, where a lot of home care workers originate, most of them well-intentioned, seeking only to send money home and give their families a decent life.

In the documentary short above, we meet victims on both sides of the equation.

Linda Matchan’s reporting was made possible, in part, by a grant from Fund for Investigative Journalism and a fellowship with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, with support from the Ford Foundation.