UDW day of action lifts up the voices of homecare

Caregiver Vibiana Saavedra in Sacramento

Caregiver Vibiana Saavedra was one of many homecare providers who met with Sacramento lawmakers on the 28th to educate them about the importance of IHSS.

Together, we are standing up for homecare and defending dignity. On January 28th, UDW caregivers hosted an informational meeting in Sacramento for state legislators and decision-makers about the work we do and the people we serve (check out the video here).  We told them:

It’s time to get rid of the 8% cut to IHSS

California has an $8 billion surplus. It is wrong and unjustifiable to continue forcing seniors and people with disabilities to go without the care they need.

UDW Executive Director Doug Moore spoke frankly to the group of lawmakers: “In the near future, one in five Californians will be over 65. We’re talking here about your loved ones, your parents, your neighbors. Who will be there to take care of them? We cannot afford to cut away at California’s safety net.”

Limiting providers to 40 hours per week will devastate our families and clients

Governor Jerry Brown wants to prohibit care providers, even those of us caring for family members, from working more than 40 hours per week. It’s a shameful attempt to skirt new federal rules that guarantee overtime pay for caregivers – a right that is enjoyed by all American workers. The Brown proposal is a horrible idea that will slash income for some families by as much as 43% and push more Californians into poverty. It will rip apart families and force more people into institutions, as homecare providers will no longer be able to afford caregiving.

“Being a provider is a gift that I cherish but it also comes with certain challenges and sacrifices,” said Placer caregiver Cindy Chapman, who cares for her 24-year-old son with cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. “Without IHSS, I don’t know how we would put food on the table. With the 8% cut in hours last year I’m struggling to pay my mortgage and if the governor’s budget goes forward with cutting [even more] hours, we’re going to lose our home.”

Metres Huddleston and Cindy Chapman

Metres Huddleston (left) and Cindy Chapman (right) address legislators at the UDW Informational Session. Click to see video.

Homecare saves lives and money

The IHSS program is one of the most humane and cost-effective in state government. Homecare costs taxpayers 80% less than putting people in nursing homes or institutional care.

Metres Huddleston, an 81-year-old community activist in Merced, explained that she is able to remain in the home she bought in 1967 thanks to IHSS. “When I wake up in the middle of the night from my arthritis, the familiar surroundings make me feel better even though I’m in pain. I’m still trying to make a difference in the community and I wouldn’t be able to make the same impact if I lived in a facility.”

Cindy Chapman doesn’t want to institutionalize her son, either. “Now that Nathan is an adult, it would terrify me to put him in a group home with strangers,” she said. “He’s my son. The best provider for him is me. And the best place for him is our home.”

After our informational session, we met with our elected representatives to share our personal stories and explain the importance of protecting care for our loved ones and neighbors (check out the photos below). In the coming months, we will continue to speak out against Governor Brown’s unfair and devastating cuts. UDW caregivers are the defenders of homecare in California, and we won’t let our seniors and people with disabilities go without the compassionate care they deserve.

 

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Paid for by United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund, sponsored by United Domestic Workers of America. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

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