What does caring mean to you? I’m Nancy Salazar, and I’d like to tell you what caring means to me. Being a home health aide is hard work – I wake up early, so I can get to work at 8am, and my workday doesn’t end until 8pm. But I don’t mind the hours. I love helping people with special needs to be independent and comfortable in their own home – and making my clients feel cared for and happy is incredibly rewarding.
Like me, many home care workers love their jobs too – but when we are paid so poorly, it makes us feel like society doesn’t value our hard work. In New York City, on average, home health aides earn just $23,500 a year; that’s less than half the average salary in our city.
Whether you work in home care, receive care, or have friends and family who need care, all of us have a care story to tell. That’s why I’m asking you to join me on Sunday, June 3 for the New York Care Congress, a townhall-style meeting to share our stories, discuss local and national solutions to transform care, and build a movement that creates quality jobs and affordable care now and for future generations.
RSVP today: http://bit.ly/NYCareCongress
There are 140,000 home care workers in New York City, and we make up the largest single category of professionals. Home care work is already the city’s fastest growing profession, and as baby boomers age and a growing number of people with disabilities live at home, the demand for home care workers is going to skyrocket. If we were paid fairly and offered opportunities for career advancement, this would mean the creation of thousands of great jobs in New York City – but if things don’t change for us, our city will end up with a poorly trained workforce with a very high turnover rate. That’s not just unhealthy for those we serve, it’s also unhealthy for our economy.
The only way things are going to change is if we, as home care workers, join forces with the communities we serve to transform our industry. But the first step is sharing our stories – that’s why I shared my story in this video.
I hope you can join me and the growing Caring Across Generations movement at the New York Care Congress. For the first time, hundreds of home care workers, seniors, people with disabilities, and allies are going to sit at the same table, have a conversation about home care, and find a way to move forward together. RSVP by clicking the link at the end of the video or by going to http://bit.ly/NYCareCongress
Nancy Salazar, Home Health Aide
Cooperative Home Care Associates