This post originally appeared here January 14, 2014.
PHOTO: Areesa Johnson, Springfield, IL Home Care Worker
On January 21, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear Harris v. Quinn
, a case brought by the National Right to Work Committee, an extreme right-wing think tank. This case threatens home care workers' right to collectively bargain with states to improve working conditions.
More than that, Harris v. Quinn jeopardizes the ability of senior citizens and people with disabilities to live independently at home. Weakening our home care workforce will result in more folks being forced to live in institutions.
I have been a Personal Assistant for four years now, caring for people with disabilities in my Springfield, Illinois community. Seventeen years ago, my husband fell ill and that was my first experience as a caregiver. I fell in love with the work then and with each new consumer I work with, that love only continues to grow.
This line of work often involves more than an exchange of services; you build a relationship with the people you care for and share in the joy of their independence through the work that you do. My consumers get to stay in our community, living safely and independently where they want to be, and that makes me very proud to be a home care provider.