Presented on June 6, 2014
My name is Nicole Wynaar and I am a home care worker. I currently have EISEP clients.
I began working in home care in 2009 when I was laid off from my job as a chef. I’ve been at Personal Touch ever since. I am a Field Supervisor—I make house calls to ensure that seniors are being well taken care of and their care plan is followed.
I take care of lots of “mamas.” My oldest mama is 102 and a half years old. She has no children and no family, so I became like her daughter.
I enjoy helping people. I like cooking for them and seeing them smile. I enjoy hearing their stories about when they were young. They spent their lives caring for other people, and now they deserve to be taken care of.
Being independent is the most important thing to them.
We know that home care services are much less expensive than the alternatives, and allow clients to remain in their homes with dignity, respect and independence. New York City should expand cost effective programs like EISEP.
The fact that home care work funded by EISEP provides a living wage is a start. However, as a home care worker with EISEP cases, I do not receive the same level of benefits as other home care workers. Even though we do the same job, my employer receives a lower reimbursement rate than employers with home care workers with Medicaid cases.
NYC should make sure that all home care workers are treated the same—and receive the same decent wages and benefits—whether they serve Medicaid clients or EISEP clients.
Doing home care is a lot of work. I had a bedridden patient that passed away last year. That was very difficult. But you do it, because you care. You make your client comfortable and take care of people with your whole heart.