SEIU Local 1107

May 30: Lawmakers, Advocates to Unveil Policy Proposals to Address Home Care Crisis at Town Hall


Press Release

Political Action
Home Care

The proposals for the next legislative session will help build a home care workforce that can provide quality services for the rapidly aging population

In a recent poll of 1,000 likely Nevada voters, 80% said they are concerned about the shortage of home care workers and Nevada needs to address the crisis

  • WHO: Senators Rochelle Nguyen and Dina Neal; Dept. of Health and Human Services Director Richard Whitley; Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II; Chief Policy Deputy at the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office Erik Jimenez; caregivers, clients, advocates and the home care union, SEIU Local 1107
  • WHAT: Home Care Legislative Town Hall
  • WHEN: Thurs., May 30 – interviews available starting 6 p.m., program begins 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas

On May 30, lawmakers, caregivers and advocates will hold the first-ever “Nevada Home Care Legislative Town Hall” to unveil their concrete policy goals. The town hall is being organized to address the home care crisis and ensure there is the workforce necessary to provide quality services to seniors and people with disabilities. There is a “Silver Tsunami” crashing over the Silver State as Nevada’s population is aging much more rapidly than the rest of the country and demand for home care is skyrocketing.

At the Legislative Town Hall, Senator Rochelle Nguyen will present the “Silver State Home Care Standards,” a set of policy proposals for the next legislative session aimed at recruiting, retaining and training home care workers; supporting small businesses; and ensuring clients are receiving the level of services they require.

As the Chair of the state legislature’s Finance Sub-committee on Human Services, Senator Nguyen championed the successful passage of a historic $16 minimum wage for home care workers and a major funding increase last year. Previously, home care workers’ average wages had been mired at $11 an hour for over a decade and funding had been basically unchanged for 20 years. The wage and funding increases are life changing for the state’s 13,000 home care workers and a groundbreaking step toward solving Nevada’s crisis-level workforce shortage which has been caused by poverty pay and a lack of basic benefits.

But even with these recent increases, much more needs to be done. Nevada still ranks 43rd nationally for spending on home and community-based services per resident. And a home care worker in the Las Vegas area who is single with no children would need to earn over $21 an hour in order to meet the cost of living.

“Providing loving care to others is my God-given life’s purpose,” said Irma ‘Malu’ Lopez, a home care worker in Las Vegas. “I take care of three older clients who all have serious medical issues. Despite the importance of my work, I used to be paid only $12 an hour and I was always behind on my bills. The $16 minimum wage has given me so much hope, but we urgently need to make more progress. We’re building a movement to transform home care into a sustainable profession so that our clients get the care they need.” At the town hall, the results of a recent poll of 1,000 likely Nevada voters will be presented. The poll shows that home care is one of the only remaining issues that enjoys broad support across Republicans, Independents and Democrats. Among the findings, 80% of likely voters said they are concerned about the shortage; 85% support raising caregivers’ wages; and 88% said they support providing basic benefits like health care and paid sick days for caregivers. 91% of Democrats, 83% of Independents and 79% of Republicans said they’re more likely to vote for candidates who are committed to addressing the home care crisis and improving pay for workers.

The home care workforce is 85% women and 59% people of color. They help with all the daily activities that empower seniors and people with disabilities to live at home with dignity, health and well-being, including bathing, feeding, taking clients to doctors appointments, grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions and medication reminders.

In the last decade, Nevada’s 65 and older population soared by 46% and there are now almost half a million seniors living in the state. Families increasingly cannot find caregivers for their loved ones due to severe difficulties with recruitment and retention of workers. One out of two home care workers leave their jobs in the first year and Nevada will need 32,000 new caregivers in the next decade.

Expanding home care is not only important for ensuring quality services, but is also fiscally responsible. According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, for every client who receives home care rather than being sent to a nursing home, Nevada saves about $75,000 annually.

For the past few years, home care workers have been mobilizing through their union to solve the problems they and their clients have been facing. In 2021, they successfully established a first-in-the nation Home Care Employment Standards Board, in which workers, clients, government officials and employers collaboratively created policy solutions, including the minimum wage and funding increase. The legislature passed those recommendations and Gov. Lombardo signed them into law last year. After those policy victories, over a thousand home care workers voted to unionize and over 800 have won strong union contracts. The Legislative Town Hall is the launch of the next round policy proposals which will build on this foundation.