Letters to the Editor
April 28, 2021
My name is Winie Schafer, I live in Wolf Point Mont., and I am a member of the Sioux tribe and a homecare worker. When people think of front-line healthcare workers they usually think about doctors and nurses, but homecare workers are on the frontlines too. Every day we work to keep our clients in their homes and out of the hospitals and nursing homes. Without our work the healthcare system would be overwhelmed, and conditions would be much worse right now. In spite of our sacrifice, caregivers are some of the lowest paid workers in our community. Our work happens behind closed doors and we feel practically invisible.
I have cared for my daughter, Mindy, since 2008. She was born with a condition called Spinobifida. She has no feeling from the waist down and has to live her life in a wheelchair. She needs total, around the clock care, and will for the rest of her life. I'm grateful to have a paycheck, but 30 hours a week doesn't cut it. Most of the caregivers I know would not be doing this if they didn't love their jobs. But that doesn't mean we should have to live in poverty. I'm asking our elected leaders in the State to support us caregivers with more than just words. You clapped, now act. Don't forget about us in HB 632. We need provider rate increases, direct caregiver wage increases, and essential worker bonuses.
Wolf Point, Mont.