After reading ‘Faces of minimum wage’ over the weekend, I felt inspired to share my story as a home care worker, a story I feel few have heard and understand.
I support my family of five by serving seniors and people with disabilities who want to remain living in their homes. I provide services like cooking, cleaning, help with mobility and personal hygiene. Without me, my six consumers would not have the same quality of life, and may even be forced to think about nursing home care – a much more costly alternative to a home care worker like me.
I work 52 hours a week and make only $9.85/hour after three years on the job. I have no sick days or vacation time, and if one of my consumers ends up in the hospital that means I don’t get paid.
Keeping food on the table and bills paid is a constant struggle, and I honestly don’t know how we would survive without payday loans.
Even though it hurts to know my pay doesn’t reflect the hard work I put in, I still look after each of my consumers as if they were my own family. I would want someone just like me to be there for my parents; however, I wouldn’t want that person to be forced to live in poverty for choosing the line of work that keeps my loved ones at home where they want to be.
We need compassionate, skilled home care workers for our aging population and for those with disabilities. But until we recognize the vital role workers like me play in the lives of our friends and family by increasing pay and providing benefits, we cannot build a system that will meet the increasing demands of the future.