Editor’s note: Gov. Tim Walz recently observed a day in the life of a personal care attendant, to put a spotlight on the challenges such workers face. Walz used the occasion to highlight the need for the state to invest, and allow people with disabilities to stay in their own homes. There are more than 8,000 job openings for home care workers.
The visit was followed by print and broadcast media, and by members of Minnesota’s disability community. The visit has drawn a mixed reaction from community members, with some saying they appreciate Walz’s efforts and others questioning if the event was simply for the cameras.
The event was called “Walk a Day with an HHA” with HHA standing for home health aide.
Here are comments James “Jimmy Wheels” Lovold of St. Paul sent to WCCO-TV and reporter Reg Chapman after seeing its report.
Mr. Chapman, you were the reporter who did the story where the governor followed a PCA/client team to learn more about the job and what it entails. Your story started something in me.
After seeing your story about the PCA situation, I decided I wanted to write an email to the governor telling him about my situation of lack of PCA services due to the fact that we have a PCA shortage going on seriously right now. All because of the pay!
PCAs can’t survive on what they make. I’ve spent half of this year in Minneapolis in a TCU or transitional care unit because of this situation. I also am a recipient of the PCA services. I’m a disabled man from birth who relies on these services every day of my life.
I thought you might like to hear another side of the story that doesn’t get talked about much. What happens to us when we don’t have the care in our homes.
I wanted to know if you were interested in another side of the story. Thank you, I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.
(As of early December. Lovold had not heard from WCCO-TV.)
James ” Jim ” Lovold