Investing in Home Care Workers Like Me Is the Solution We Need

These workers were left out of the New Deal. They’ve been fighting for better pay ever since.

My adopted sister, Leia, depends on me for everything. Leia has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and it’s my job as a home care worker to make sure her needs are met. Over the course of any given day, I move Leia from her bed to her wheelchair, fold her laundry, prepare her lunch, wash her dishes, brush her teeth, and teach her a few new words. Leia and I are incredibly close, and I’m proud to be able to earn my living by providing the care she needs and deserves.


Across the commonwealth, 43,000 home care workers provide similar services on a daily basis. We work day and night helping seniors and people with disabilities—sometimes our own family members, sometimes others’ loved ones—go about their lives. “I dream of a future for Virginia, and all across the United States, where care jobs are respected, well-paid, sought-after union careers; and where every person and every family can access the care they need, in the comfort of their own home, from a skilled home care worker.”


I chose this work because I am honored to carry on the tradition of Black women caregivers; to this day, home care workers are largely Black women and other women of color. Despite the essential labor we provide, we’re still not respected, protected and paid like we ought to be. The average home care worker in Virginia makes just over $10 per hour, putting us among the lowest paid workers in our economy. And there are millions of people like Leia who depend on care workers to survive, but cannot access the care they need.


Read the full article at Common Dreams