BOZEMAN - There has been an ongoing discussion in Washington on how much to spend for President Biden's Build Back Better plan.
Anna Volkersz, a home care worker in Bozeman—says the waiting is costly not only for her but for her clients.
“It takes a special person to do what we're doing,” says Volkersz “We help take care of seniors, elderly, disabled, developmentally disabled also, we're getting a lot more mental health clients.”
With the pandemic, Montana's high cost of living, and the worker shortage, Anna is not sure she can keep up with her calling.
We're getting tired,” says Anna
“ Have you seen a lot of burnout,” asked MTN’s Edgar Cedillo.
“Yes,” says Volkersz.
“How has that been?” asked Cedillo.
“ I myself have thought about it,” says Volkersz
Volkersz says she and her home health colleagues are holding their breath, hoping that Congress passes the president’s funding package so that her clients can keep getting the care they need and so she and her co-workers can get paid more as they take on an increased workload.
“The lower wages and not being able to afford living here means we don't have people coming to work,” says Volkersz.
As Montana’s population continues to age there are around 2,000 people on the wait list to receive at-home care. If Build Back Better passes they would be able to hire people like Volkersz and receive that care at home
“That's a big deal trying to bring those people on,” says Volkersz.
In the Build Back Better plan, an estimated $150 billion is allocated for healthcare. Of that, $400 million would be used to pay home health workers more. Part of this funding would also include money to help with training as home care workers take on a bigger workload.
“But it would bring in more training to make people realize that this is a professional job, we take care of people's lives,” says Volkersz.
Volkersz says she hopes the people in Washington think about that when they cast their votes.
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