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Proud to be an LGBT caregiver

By R. Andrew Daniel, IHSS provider, San Diego County During LGBT Pride Month, I like to take a look back at how far my community has come. Throughout history we have been beaten and killed for loving who we love, and we’ve fought tooth and nail for every right we have today. But though we’ve made strides towards dignity and justice, we’re far from done fighting for equal rights. My activism for my community has always been through care— I started at the age of 12.  I always volunteered for various things, but focused on HIV/AIDS when the epidemic hit, […]

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I’m denied basic retirement security just because my home care client is my spouse

I’m denied basic retirement security just because my home care client is my spouse

My husband David’s meningitis caused paralysis on the left side of his body and several neurological problems. For a while I was able to continue working my full-time job, and pay into important programs like Social Security and Medicare. But as David’s condition worsened, I had to start reevaluating what was best for our family. David became reliant on a wheelchair seven years ago, and that’s when I knew it was time to change jobs. I left my old job, and became my husband’s full-time home care provider. When I found out that I was no longer able to pay […]

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Home care is real work, and real work deserves real retirement security

Home care is real work, and real work deserves real retirement security

When my daughter Delaina was in second grade, an undiagnosed tumor in her brain hemorrhaged and left her with brain damage. Now, Delaina is 22 years old, and I work as her home care provider. She can understand me, but has behavior issues. Delaina can do basic math and write her name, but it’s hard for her to learn more. She’s also lost her ability to walk or feed herself. We live month to month, because I don’t make much as Delaina’s full-time home care provider. And if something were to happen to IHSS and I lost my job as […]

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Demanding dignity and respect for spouse and parent home care providers

Demanding dignity and respect for spouse and parent home care providers

My husband Leon is 69 years old and lives with COPD and cirrhosis of the liver. My full-time job since 2000 has been providing him with in-home care, so he can remain in our home where he is happiest and healthiest. I’ve been a home care provider for 16 years, and for 16 years I’ve worried about what would happen if an unexpected tragedy struck my family. One of my biggest fears is my husband passing away. I would be grief stricken, and because I don’t qualify for unemployment, I would also have no financial safety net while I searched […]

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Without Social Security, I may never be able to retire

Without Social Security, I may never be able to retire

My 39-year-old son Jacob was born with a brainstem defect. He relies on me 24/7 to provide for all of his needs, including bathing, preparing his meals, paramedical care, and exercise. My home care wages are the primary source of income in our home when my husband has trouble getting landscaping work. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work as Jacob’s home care provider, but I’m frustrated that my work is not taken seriously. Exclusion from Social Security and Medicare is going to hurt my family. At some point, I may not be able to care for Jacob any longer, […]

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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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