COVID 19 did not just catch long-term care off guard. It took advantage of a system that had been in crisis for years. Low-wage jobs, little access to healthcare, inconsistent training, and owners of facilities who cut corners in order to maximize profit meant long-term care residents and workers were particularly vulnerable when COVID-19 made its way to Oregon last year.
Long-term care workers are called heroes, essential to the function of our society. The profession made the list of our country’s most deadly jobs In 2020. Yet, we've managed to overlook the fact that these “heroes” in a high-risk profession remain underpaid, and many lack access to healthcare. Mostly women and immigrants do this work, and are good enough to care for our loved ones, brave enough to be called heroes, but not respected enough to be paid a living wage or have access to decent healthcare. Meanwhile, the long-term care industry raked in over $90M last year from the Cares Act alone. And they stand to see even more. An industry responsible for 53% of our state's COVID deaths, while taking billions in state, federal, and private money should have to meet higher standards. The state of long-term care in Oregon is a policy choice. It's time to start making better choices. You can help by sharing your experience in a video on this page.
Here are some tips for making your video:
- Make it personal. Explain the importance of what you do, the people you serve, and/or the impact of your job on your family or community.
- How has the pandemic impacted your work, your coworkers, or the people you care for? Was there an outbreak at your facility? Did you have PPE?
Staff will compile member videos and post them to our website, social media, and/or send them directly to legislators. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitting your story is consenting to allow the use of your video, text, and image for the above-stated purposes.