Tackling Maryland’s Long Term Care CrisisMarch 6, 2023
1199 members joined the Caring Across Maryland coalition of workers and healthcare advocates as they unveiled a package of bills for state lawmakers aimed at improving conditions for caregivers. The legislation would increase wages and provide greater oversight of nursing home acquisitions.
Cynthia Neely, a home care aide, said she loved her job, but she's overworked and underpaid -- earning just $13.50 an hour.
Staffing shortages are severe, she added. At some places, there are just two employees responsible for as many as 40 patients.
“I love taking care of people,” said Neely, “Unfortunately, I have to work multiple jobs as a caregiver to make ends meet. It is unacceptable to treat the people who take care of our most vulnerable loved ones so badly. I’m out there every day as a caregiver and I see clearly that caregivers in Maryland are headed in the wrong direction. I urge the Maryland General Assembly to take action and pass these bills for a more caring healthcare system.”
The Caring Across Maryland coalition says their state currently has the third-longest wait list for long-term care services in the country. If nothing is done to address it, the situation will only get worse, says 1199’s Maryland/ DC Political Director, Ricarra Jones: "Our aging population is set to explode by 40 percent in 2030.”
Not only that, but the caregiving needs of adults are becoming more diverse as individuals with chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia are living longer.