Tell Senators Manchin and Capito
West Virginia Families Need Home- and Community-Based Care
Congress Debating Funding Now
How many of us have had a family member who has been in the hospital, and when it comes time for them to leave, we face tough decisions about what comes next? That person we love wants to get back home, not go to a nursing home or other institution. But we worry about whether they will get the help they need at home. Will there be someone who can check on them daily and make sure they take their medications? Who will help them get take a bath and get dressed in the morning? Who can get that sweater off the top shelf of the closet?
Over the summer, the U.S. Congress is debating what to include in the next package of legislation that makes investments that will help grow our economy post-COVID, create jobs, and help people work.
The focus of the debate right now is The American Jobs Plan package of legislation put forward by President Biden. Included is new funding to expand home- and community-based care (HCBS).
This new funding will help address this dilemma that West Virginia working families face when our loved ones with health challenges want to be at home, stay healthy and safe, and contribute to our communities.
Please email and call Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin and urge them to support President Biden’s proposal to create a truly robust system of home- and community-based care. This is an investment that can provide immediate economic stimulus and job creation for our state, and give peace-of-mind to many working West Virginia families.
NOTE: Adding your own story to this message sends an even stronger message:
I want my family and friends who are aging or have disabilities to be able to live at home with dignity and independence. Yet home- and community care services are often hard to put together -- there just aren’t enough caregivers.
The HCBS workforce includes home care workers, personal care attendants, peer support specialists, independent providers working at the direction of a consumer, and direct support professionals. The HCBS workforce provides vital services yet have been devalued and underpaid for decades.
The fall-out of inadequate wages is workforce shortages. Currently, older adults who want to age at home and people with disabilities who need support to work, live independently, and be part of their communities are left waiting or end up back in the hospital or in institutional care.
What is needed is to expand the HCBS workforce are higher wages and better training to those special individuals who are willing to meet the challenges of this demanding work.
The next legislative package passed by Congress must include significant new funding investments in home- and community-based care systems built on a workforce that is paid a family sustaining wage, includes training opportunities and professional certification, offers career paths, and rewards workers’ tenure and experience.
This is the kind of infrastructure investment that West Virginia working families like mine need for our economy and for our loved ones.