I have not been able to find nor keep for any length of time a care provider for my son who's authorized for a full time care provider/direct support person beyond myself (Mom) even well prior to the pandemic. The pay is/has not been competitive for those in the profession of personal care. Also please make parentally paid care permanent for parents of those with disabilities who qualify for personal/direct care. We are drowning due to lack of assistance and funding, yet do a LOT of overwhelming, but necessary work in many capacities.
I'm far from alone when I say that it is nearly impossible to find, much less keep qualified caregivers due to the low pay. Please pass a responsible increase. Having a child evaluated and approved for benefits is (a TON of work with paperwork, interviews, evaluations and phone calls, etc.) worthless if those benefits (care providers, for one) are inaccessible. If parents have no choice but to provide ALL of the care and ALL of the associated work, we should be paid for doing what we do anyhow, pandemic or not. SO exhausted. Help!
So many families, so few options- please increase attendant pay so that hiring options reflect increased quality of candidates and overall care.
Most commonly, a Mother is the one who has the vast majority of the responsibility with special needs children and the incredulous work it takes to even have them evaluated for services, plus keeping up with all of that paperwork, multiple agencies, phone calls, meetings, evaluations, providing documentation, and all of the many medical appointments the child needs....We have other children too in many cases, we have no help, and are overwhelmed beyond belief! Increasing attendant pay (and for parents under attendant K, which should be permanent) is the only way to attract quality, qualified people to help care for our children in great need. My circle of friends, we don't even have the capacity to try and help each other out. The pandemic has made everything, impossible. Our children's care does not deserve to suffer, and the Mothers are experiencing tremendous stress and burnout. Please help!
As both a parent of individuals with developmental disabilities and a professional in the field providing supports for individuals with developmental disabilities, I have seen firsthand the difficulty families across the Commonwealth are facing as a direct result of low reimbursement rates for waiver services. It is all but impossible to attract and keep competent staff for agency directed or consumer directed services when reimbursement rates for such services are below the wages these individuals could be paid for working unskilled jobs at local food service establishments. Yet we are asking them to provide personal care for individuals with disabilities, who by very definition, are not able to care for themselves alone. In order for individuals with developmental disabilities to remain in their homes and communities, we need to commit to competitive reimbursement rates for personal care (and all HCBS services) that will attract and keep appropriate staff to provide the needed services. I fully support the proposed increase in personal care reimbursement rates.
We have been without care for nearly 3 years! Why go through the hours and hours necessary incredulous hassles to qualify a child for assisted care if there are no staff to do it? This entire system for children with disabilities is so very broken. Please streamline it. We are under enough stress already with no help. Nobody knew the minimum wage was going up to $15? The best way to alleviate the lack of help and stress on family caregivers is to continue to pay them (family caregivers) but still, many require additional help like 24 hour care, and we need PEOPLE to help do that. The only way to do that is a competitive wage. Our children deserve it!
Do find and keep care givers they need to be paid a decrnt wage.