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To the Editor:

Have you ever thought about what would happen to you if you could no longer stand long enough to prepare a meal? Or if you no longer had the strength to lift a laundry basket or move freely around your home?

If you’re a senior in Illinois, you might turn to a home care aide in the Community Care Program like me for help.

I keep seniors in our communities living independently with the services I provide. Home care workers are on the front lines of health care delivery in our communities and keep our seniors safe and healthy at home.

However, our paychecks do not acknowledge the important work we do and too many are forced to find other jobs to support our families. This hurts seniors and undermines our state’s ability to meet the increasing demand for these services.

I’ve been in the healthcare industry for 23 years, working as a home care aide for the last twelve years. I only make $10.92 per hour and it’s getting harder and harder to survive.

That’s why I’m writing to urge our state lawmakers to support HB2776/SB2019. These bills would raise wages for home care aides in the Community Care Program to $13 per hour and help lift many of us out of poverty.

Without action, the revolving door of caregivers will continue and our home care system will remain unstable. Now is the time to invest in the home care system that our seniors deserve.

Barbara Cantlin-Howard

Murphysboro

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