Casey: Investment in Home and Community-Based Services is a Bridge to Economic Security
Casey Holds Hearing, Highlights President Biden’s $400 Billion Investment in Home and Community-Based Services
Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, held a hearing entitled, “21st Century Caregiving: Supporting Workers, Family Caregivers, Seniors and People with Disabilities.” The hearing examined the experiences and needs of older adults and people with disabilities who receive home and community-based services as well as the family caregivers and low-income workers who provide them. In Pennsylvania, the pre-pandemic median wage for a direct care worker is just $11.99 per hour, and many have few or no benefits. The majority of these workers are women and 62 percent of home care workers are people of color.
“An investment in home and community-based services is long overdue to help families who struggle day in and day out to care for their family members. President Biden’s historic $400 billion investment in these essential services will not only enable more older adults and people with disabilities to remain in their homes and lead independent lives, it will also help their family members who are often unrecognized and left with little support,” said Chairman Casey. “We must also turn home care jobs into good quality, family-sustaining jobs and recognize the value of the services these workers provide. For millions of families, and especially for women, home and community-based services are a bridge to supporting their families, returning to work and to economic security.”
Chairman Casey invited Theo Braddy, the former CEO of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania and a recipient of home and community-based services, who testified about his experience of living with a disability and the importance of home care services in gaining and retaining independence. “I have no way to explain how it feels not to be able to do anything for yourself anymore. I left rehab not even being able to feed myself or able to push my manual wheelchair. Home and community-based services changed all of that…Being provided with attendants gave me back my independence and my ability to live life fully again,” said Mr. Braddy.