Victory! California reverses home care cuts

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By Caring Across Staff

We have great news! On Wednesday, June 23rd, California’s Governor Brown signed the state’s new budget, restoring hours cut from In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), California’s publicly funded home care program.

Starting July 1, hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities will have access to more home care hours, providing them with the support they need to live with independence and dignity.

We couldn’t have made this victory happen without you. Our partners and thousands of Caring Across Generations members called on Governor Brown and the California Legislature to make this change happen.

It’s a no-brainer: keeping Californians in their homes allows them to live, work, and remain vital members of their communities, and it saves the state money. Stories from two of our members show the importance of IHSS for seniors, people with disabilities, home care workers, and the community at large:

Nikki Brown-Booker, a marriage and family therapist, uses a wheelchair and employs 6 home care workers to assist her throughout the day. “Using attendant care services has made it possible for me to go to college and get a Master’s degree in clinical psychology,” she says. “I am able to do a quality job because of my 6 attendants.” Without in-home care, she wouldn’t be able to work and provide services for her clients, many of whom are children with disabilities.

Chantal Morris relies on her caregiver Mark for help with a life-threatening illness. By keeping her out of the hospital, Mark’s work not only helps Chantal maintain her independence, but also saves the state thousands of dollars. With regards to the cuts, Chantal said, “I don’t magically need seven percent less care just because the state wants me to. With the cut in place, Mark – and all caregivers – are faced with an impossible choice: work for free, or deny their client the quality care they need and deserve.”

Thanks to the restoration of IHSS hours, many caregivers in California no longer have to make that impossible choice. However, home care shouldn’t be on the budget chopping block every year. Let’s keep working to ensure that caregivers, seniors, and people with disabilities are able to live and age well in their own communities.

Image Credit: UDW Homecare Providers Union