Like so many across the country, Lainie was a caregiver to some of her family members for years. Over time, she grew confident in her work and decided she wanted to help and care for others.
As a personal care service provider (PCSP) Lainie spends her day assisting her clients with tasks like medication reminders, physical therapy exercises and driving them to medical appointments. Knowing that she is keeping them safe and in the comfort of their homes, she feels her work rewarding and important.
Lainie has been doing this work for nine years and has watched agencies close causing more and more people going without care. “It’s overwhelming. People are struggling to get basic care and the help just isn’t there.”
Why is there a caregiver shortage? Because the state only allocates $xx/ hour to pay them – less than the starting $16/hour they can make working at Walmart or McDonalds. In fact, New Hampshire has one of the lowest paid caregivers in the country.
Lainie sees the crisis firsthand, every day. “I have never seen so many isolated, neglected people. I have a client that talks to her Alexa because she is so lonely. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”
While the work is rewarding, it also takes a toll says Lainie, “I worry constantly about how I’m going to keep a roof over our heads and take care of my son. It’s physically, emotionally draining work and important, yet the pay is just so low. You can go anywhere and make more money. I just want a sense of security.”
Lainie believes that with better pay, increased training and opportunity for growth more people would want to do this work. “I am constantly recommending this work to others because I believe in what we do.”
Lainie is doing all she can, but it is a struggle, “There are just so many people that need help and not enough people doing the work. In NH, especially, there is just not enough funding put into these programs. It’s a crisis and all eyes should be on it.”
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