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Governor "Walks the Walk" on Home Care

July 1, 2008

Tacoma, WA – There's nothing like on-the-job experience. At least that's how Governor Chris Gregoire sees it; she spent a day walking in the shoes of Tacoma home care worker Rosa Vadillo. Gov. Gregoire says she came away from the experience with a better understanding of the struggle that tens of thousands of local home care workers face each and every day.

"This particular individual works about 54 hours a week to make ends meet, she works for two agencies. We're going to desperately need people like Rosa, who are trained, who are professional, to come in and provide that care to people who have to rely on it. It's the fiscally-responsible thing to do; it's a whole lot cheaper for in-home care than it is for care outside the home."

Gov. Gregoire says she gained a lot of first-hand knowledge walking a day in Rosa's shoes. She says this country has to stop taking home care workers for granted, and it's important they get both the necessary training and a chance to earn a livable wage.

Gov. Gregoire spent part of her day with Rita Madding, a 60-year-old Tacoma resident who says she would be living in a nursing home if it were not for the home care help she gets six days a week.

"It makes the difference between night and day. I cannot shower by myself; there are physical things I just cannot do without Rosa."

Rosa Vadillo, the home care worker the governor tagged along with, is originally from Mexico. Rosa cares for two clients a day and came to this country eight years ago, she says, to make a better life for her family.

Chris Thomas/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - WA