Home care professionals declare “Invisible No More!” with launch of ad campaign

By on April 23, 2018

Health Care Workers Rising, an emerging grassroots group of home care professionals, announced the launch of the “We Deserve Better” advertising campaign created to call for bold solutions to the troubling state of home care.

The campaign includes a series of transit ads placed throughout Erie and Monroe Counties that feature the faces of caregivers and their clients.

Pictured from left to right, Home Health Aide Shuanie Williams, former Homecare Client Pat Mannix, Home Health Aide Kimberly Balkum. Provided photo

Pictured from left to right, Home Health Aide Shuanie Williams, former Homecare Client Pat Mannix, Home Health Aide Kimberly Balkum. Provided photo

“Providing in-home care means we often work alone in clients’ homes,” said Kim Balkum, a Rochester home healthcare provider. “The work we do, the struggles of our clients, are often invisible.  We are ready to tell our stories and take the lead in making our professions better. I’m happy people are finally seeing our faces and paying attention to our important work.”

Pat Mannix, a Rochester resident and former home care client, explains why transforming the state of home care is important to her family.

“I know first-hand that our long-term healthcare system is broken. The option to receive in-home hospice care for my husband was invaluable,” Mannix said.  “Having a caregiver provided tremendous comfort during our darkest hour.  But, there was never enough workers to cover his needs, and at times we were without support. When you look at how much in-home healthcare costs, it’s upsetting how little caregivers are paid. This is very hard work.  Caregivers deserve better, families deserve better.”

Home care has become the fastest-growing job in the country but is also among the lowest paid. Home care professionals work hard to care for seniors and people living with disabilities. They do so with dedication and compassion, always going the extra mile to provide clients with essential care like toileting, bathing and feeding. In Rochester, most make just above minimum wage and lack essential benefits like health care or paid sick days.

Studies show these low wages are causing alarmingly high turnover, jeopardizing critical services, and straining the home care system for the growing number of seniors who choose living at home over expensive long-term care facilities. As a result, clients don’t get the care they deserve while caregivers struggle to make ends meet.

This campaign marks the beginning of a growing grassroots effort to transform the home care industry across Western New York by advocating for better wages, better benefits and better care for clients.

Provided information

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