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Online-only letter to the editor: Legislature needs to invest in home care

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I’m a homecare worker. I work 40-50 hours a week, care for 11 clients and have been doing this work for 30 years. I’m responsible for a wide range of tasks necessary for my clients to stay in their homes. There’s a lot to do and we often don’t have enough time to get everything done. Most caregivers I know end up working on their own time.

My body hurts at the end of the day, but it’s hard to say no when people are depending on you to live. Having to work through the pandemic has been stressful. As a cancer survivor I am very much at risk. I mask up, glove up, use plenty of sanitizer and pray that it’s enough.

2020 was a rough year. I’ve lost clients, friends and family members. If the Legislature fails to invest in home care, the next two years will be harder. We’ve been treading water for too long, now we need to catch up.

You clapped, now act. Don’t forget about us in House Bill 632. We need provider rate increases, direct caregiver wage increases, and essential worker bonuses.

Lori Swartz,

Missoula

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