Wage reductions may threaten vulnerable clients
One of Julee Costanza’s clients says she would rather be back on the streets than in an assisted living facility.
“She lives in a small one-room apartment now, but she was homeless for a period of time,” explains Costanza, a Santa Cruz-based homecare worker. “Even though she might not make it on the streets, she keeps saying she would rather go that route than move into a nursing home.”
It’s possible that if state budget changes are approved, 2,000 disabled Santa Cruz residents will loose their homecare workers—domestic aids that clean, give baths, and make sure pills are taken at the right time within the comforts of the client’s home. In the 2010 budget, Gov. Schwarzenegger altered enrollment criteria for In Home Support Services (IHSS), a program that allows low-income elders and disabled patients to remain in their own homes with assistance.