Tens of thousands of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities in Washington State rely on home care services to live independently in their own homes. Thousands more are in nursing homes or other institutions.
All deserve quality care – but state budget cuts and low standards have put the quality of care for the most vulnerable at risk. Here are some examples:
- For years, thousands of home care workers had little or even no training requirement, and many were able to avoid a federal criminal background check. In 2008 voters overwhelmingly approved I-1029 to increase training requirements and require a federal background check for all workers. Legislators ignored the voters and suspended the initiative. Proponents put the initiative back on the ballot again in 2010, and voters once again overwhelmingly supported the increased training standards.We need to support elected officials that will respect the will of the voters and fully implement the increased training standards and criminal background checks. Jay Inslee supported the initiative to require better training and background checks, while Rob McKenna opposed the new standards and criminal background checks.
- Over the last several years, the legislature has cut hundreds of millions of dollars from home care services, slashing the amount of care vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities receive and putting their quality of care and lives at risk. Some residents are now getting as much as 25% less care than they were assessed by a professional to need in order to remain safely in their own homes.We need to support elected officials that will stop the cuts to home care services and will restore funding to ensure quality care.