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Letter to the editor: Montana needs caregiver wage increases

Letter to the editor: Montana needs caregiver wage increases

I’m a home care PCA in Billings where I care for elderly and disabled people. I’ve been doing this work for eight years. I help my clients stay in their own homes so they can be in an environment where they feel comfortable. The cost of moving into one of these assisted living homes is too expensive for most people. And homecare lets them retain control of their lives for as long as they can. COVID-19 made it more difficult for our clients to interact with others. If it were not for caregivers, our clients would have very little to look forward to.

The work we do is much more important than our wages imply. I am struggling to get enough hours to maintain my health insurance. Burnout is a real problem partially because the job is so draining. You try to tough it out but it’s hard especially with the limited funding. It’s not just our wages, it’s our clients’ time that is limited. Our state needs to put more money into home care so we can take better care of our clients. You clapped, now act. We need provider rate increases, direct caregiver wage increases, and essential worker bonuses.

Sandra Cleveland

Billings

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