Failure of IHSS system in CA, May Lead to Incarceration Of Disabled and Seniors
People with severe disabilities who are in the government program called In-Home Supportive Services say they have been experiencing long delays in getting caregivers registered and paid. Carolyn Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
The In-Home Supportive Services System (a.k.a. IHSS system ) is failing badly in the state of California. IHSS is a program funded by both state and federal funds to offer in-home care for people with disabilities and seniors. This landmark program is crucial in allowing disabled and seniors to live independently within the community outside of nursing homes. As result, many disabled and seniors may be eventually forced into institutions, such as nursing homes.
To most disabled, this is akin to being incarcerated for being guilty of nothing more than being disabled and elderly. There are many of us who believe the IHSS system is being sabotaged from within, or at least be set up to fail intentionally. Too many people, this begs the question, “why”? The answer is very simple, the almighty dollar!
Corporations who give “professional” homecare are losing out on the chance to make millions of dollars from providing care to disabled and seniors; something which we are perfectly capable of providing for herself if given both the means to do it and the chance to do it. Consider this well-proven fact and think about a possible motive for sabotaging this very workable system that is already in place.
It’s more cost-effective to keep people with disabilities and seniors living independently in their own homes and not force them to live in institutions which are far less cost-effective, not to mention humane. To people are part of the homecare “industry” humane treatment of disabled and seniors is the furthest thing from their minds. To these people, we are viewed as little more than “cash cows” who are only as valuable as how much money they can receive to “take care of us”.
The IHSS system in California has become so dysfunctional that it has become almost impossible to find a worker, to come into your home and give care to you. Part of this is low pay and unfair treatment of home care workers. Here in Alameda County, our homecare workers are only paid $12.50 per hour, which is a very meager wage especially for people who make it possible for others to live independent lives. Another reason appears to be bureaucratic functionality, or even perhaps bureaucratic sabotage. An example of this would be the predicament this woman finds herself in, in the video I have highlighted in this post.
In reality, what worker can afford to wait several weeks before receiving their first paycheck? None of them can. After all, who wants to work providing care for a disabled person or senior and have to wait several weeks before being paid? None that I know of!
When most workers go to do a job they are paid a regular paycheck immediately after the first week of work. Why should Homecare be any different? Why shouldn’t a homecare worker be treated with the same respect other workers are? Again the answer is, they should not be treated any differently. The big question most of us within the IHSS system community is, why are they and why are we allowing the system to get away with it?
I would strongly suggest that those of us in the disabled and senior communities prepare for a fight because we are in for one, a big one.