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Sacramento homecare workers rally to demand industry change

Sacramento seniors, homecare providers demand industry change
Sacramento seniors, homecare providers demand industry change 02:16

SACRAMENTO - An aging homecare workforce is struggling to care for our aging population. On International Workers Day, homecare providers, people with disabilities and seniors came together to demand California fix what they call a broken long-term care system.

People from all across the state showed up to Capitol Park advocating for better pay, quality benefits and retirement plans for home care workers.

"So you have a lot of us who are seasoned workers, we're becoming seniors ourselves and going to need care in a minute. But, we're the ones giving the care and we're not going to have anybody to care for us," said homecare provider Leilani Reed.

The homecare workers are sending a clear message to the capitol that they want a process that allows for them to talk about their wages and working conditions not just at the county level, which is how it exists now, but statewide.

"One day everybody is going to need care in some shape, form or fashion. Give us what it is that we need so we can thrive and this can become a career for people and you have people wanting to get into the industry, especially younger people," said Reed.

"Who would you want caring for your mother or your father or your grandparents or loved one? Someone who is making poverty wages and not able to care for their own family? Or someone who is able to make a living wage and care for their family? This is a critical issue this is about the future of care," said the president of SEIU 2015 Arnulfo De La Cruz.

It's estimated that each day in the U.S. 11,000 people turn 65 and the union says there just aren't any incentives to get the next generation interested in caretaking and they're demanding a change.

"I should not be competing with my aunt or my parents for care that's absurd," said a disabled advocate Jade Theriault.

It's not just seniors who are struggling to find an in-home caretaker. Theriault is competing with the aging population to find someone who can provide essential 24/7 care.

"We're fighting for backup registries so people like me don't have to go without so my caregivers can have vacation or time off, ya know. We're fighting for this to be a legitimate career option," Theriault said.

By 2030, all 73 million baby boomers will be age 65 or older.

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