There is probably not one personal support worker in the field of home care that would be surprised that we have hit a crisis and can not keep up with the demand of clients that are on service or coming on service.
What some would say is that this crisis has arrived earlier than expected.
With an increase of a senior population in Perth County, and for that matter in other areas, and in general people living longer, and then throw in a lack of labour force, equals the serious inability to care for seniors in their homes.
On any given day there are seniors in Perth County that are going without service due to the lack of personal support workers, and it is not restricted to any one area or company.
It is based on the lack of fair and equal wages and mileage and travel time to these workers.
For more than a decade this has contributed to the inability to hire or attract people to this field.
Top wages in the field of home care differ from $14.95 to $15.80 an hour give or take between the two companies that hold the government contract in Perth County, one being Paramed and the other One Care, that are privately owned companies making profit.
These are funded differently from nursing homes and companies like Cheshire who offer higher wages than their counter parts at $17.04 an hour and up.
These wages in itself has created the problem in attracting the younger generation in investing in the schooling required to enter this field.
A long as the government continues to waver and not invest in home care as a viable and least expensive option, the current situation will continue to spiral out of control and collapse.
Our seniors deserve better and with the lack of options increasing (shortage of room in nursing homes or care facilities) they may have little or no options at the end of the day.
I would like every senior in the County of Perth to know that the personal support worker and care givers that assist you everyday do care and believe that the current path that we are on will not serve you well nor will it serve the next generation, and for those that have gone without care we are truly trying to help, but cannot do it effectively under the current situation.
This article that I have chosen to write is meant to serve notice to the governing body that this crisis will not go away. It in fact will worsen with the next generation coming on service and it is actually time to act.
Provincially certified personal support worker