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Johanna Trotter’s Story – Pasco, Florida

Pasco, Florida –We were completely unable to get in home care for my daughter for years in Fl. We were on waitlists for 8 years but pay is so bad for caregivers and as a result there were huge shortages and ones that were willing to work for the low wages didn’t have adequate training and exp for a consumer w as high needs as my daughter. I could no longer do it myself. I was unable to work due to the demands. The severe chronic levels of stress related to doing the job of many, on my own, destroyed my health and mental health but I was drowning in caregiving responsibilities and on disability therefore our little social security checks were not enough either… we ended up in crisis. Covid made matters much worse and now there are even less support workers and was told repeatedly by many people and professionals, the only way now to get the care was to give up and place her in a group home for behaviors and medical needs. Even that was hard bc as we were searching, they were losing their support staff to easier jobs w much better pay and some homes had to tell us they were shutting down. My daughter is currently in a group home, & I worry a lot bc I can see the support staff looks defeated, over worked, underpaid, stressed out, and stretched too thin to cover more because everyone is lacking proper support staff. These people have one of the hardest jobs yet, get far too little pay and if they keep leaving this field I have no idea what will happen to my daughter and many other consumers like her. This population can not get by without proper care. These support workers are LIFE for our loved ones and should be valued and paid as such. I worry the special population is going to experience terrible consequences if support staff positions continue to be vacant or those staff decided to continue to work in another field just so they can provide a place to live & feed their own families bc that’s what it comes down to. I BEG of you on the behalf of my and all the others’ loved ones w the need/require the services of support workers, please give them more incentive and much better pay for the extremely tough job they have.

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