WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — It’s a call for help, for those who need it no matter where they live.
“I think it’s very vital that people can stay in their own home,” home care worker Francis Adams said.
As America ages, the demand for home health care rises. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, (D-PA), says the government needs to find money to support home health care solutions in rural areas.
Casey has introduced a bill which would increase funding in rural communities to support the elderly and the workers.
“People in Washington talk about how much they care about rural America, and then when it comes to the budget they don’t seem to give a damn about the people that are obviously impacted by Medicaid,” Casey said.
Adams is a home care worker from Washington, Pennsylvania, and says they need help.
“We’re getting older every day and the funding seems to be getting less and less,” Adams said.
William Dombi represents home care and hospice businesses and says it’s hard to find workers to fill their jobs.
“If the actual people are not available, that’s going to be a problem and that’s one of the big, big priorities we have in home care, is finding a way to bolster the workforce,” Dombi said.
“You can’t have a workforce if you’re not going to pay people enough,” Casey said.
Adams urged lawmakers to raise the minimum wage for home health workers to $15 an hour.
“It’d be a job that people will want to do and look for it to be a career and not just something to pick up,” Adams said.
Casey says the time to act is now.
A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the need for home-based health workers will grow by 47 percent over the next 10 years — and the elderly population could double by the year 2050.