Assembly members Jim Beall and Paul Fong joined about 200 seniors, people with disabilities, and home care workers at a town hall meeting on home care on April 27 in San Jose.
During the town hall, members had the opportunity to directly ask their elected leaders questions about topics related to home care, including legislation that will provide better care for California’s aging residents.
“Through IHSS reform, we have the opportunity to become a professionalized work force,” said Hilba Cole, a Santa Clara County home care worker. “Would you support us to finally receive the pay and respect we deserve?”
“Absolutely,” said Assemblyman Fong.
Currently, 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities statewide count on the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program to live independently in their homes. Although this program provides a lifeline for seniors and people with disabilities at fraction of what nursing home care costs, it has still been targeted for budget cuts every year.
Senate Bill 1503 aims to strengthen the home care system so it produces better health outcomes for our loved ones while driving down medical costs. The bill also provides training opportunities for home care workers and calls for including home care workers as part of the consumers’ health care teams.
“The IHSS worker should be part of the health care team,” Assemblyman Jim Beall said. “I totally support the training program.”
During the meeting, elected leaders also pledged their support to home care workers and their issues.
“The home care worker is a valued member of our society,” Beall said. “They take care of the neediest members of our society. I’m never to going to vote to cut the home care workers. I just want to say that I’m here to support you.”
A representative of Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski also attended and said Wieckowski is supportive of home care workers and passing the governor’s revenue plan, so that we don’t have to keep seeing cuts each budget year.