‘We’ll end up on the streets’: L.A. caregivers for elderly, disabled push for higher pay and dignity at home
With the nation’s cost of living soaring along with housing costs, L.A. caregivers for elderly or disabled people are struggling to afford to feed their loved ones’ care needs. But they say a growing movement is calling for higher wages and dignity at home for both employees and employers.
Josie Leach’s caretaking job: “I am working from early morning till late at night sometimes. It’s a nine to seven job. I get off and come back and do it day after day after day. I get to stay at the house and try to do my job.” (Kathryn Boyd/LAist)
The rising cost of living in Los Angeles makes it almost impossible for many working L.A. caregivers to afford to pay their bills. But a growing movement is calling for a change of heart — an end to the stigma around paying caregivers from their earnings.
In Los Angeles, the number of caregivers has grown from less than 200 in 2010 to more than 1,600 today. Many have started their own businesses as a way to provide care and make ends meet. But the state’s caregiver regulations now require employers to obtain an annual license.
These caregivers often have to balance work and family life. (Kathryn Boyd/LAist)
With the nation’s cost of living soaring along with housing costs, many working L.A. caregivers are struggling to make ends meet, let alone afford the food and other supplies for their loved ones. A group of caregivers and advocates has come together to advocate for the higher wages and dignity they believe are essential for caregivers.
Josie Leach’s caretaking job is a full-time job she loves. But she has to balance work and family life too.
While she has no health plan, Leach makes ends meet by taking care of her elderly mother, Donna.
“Sometimes I have to work in her room,” Leach said, holding up one cheek “because her face is so wrinkled.”
Leach’s mother is 80 years old and has Alzheimer’s disease and requires round-the-clock care