Illinois House Candidate Walks in the Shoes of a Home Healthcare Worker

Jul 21, 2016

State Representative candidate Marsha Griffin spent the day walking in the shoes of a local home healthcare worker to see firsthand how a new overtime policy is impacting them.

The worker, Jeff Poole, used to work up to 48 hours a week caring for SIU student Casey Cavinder, who has cerebral palsy. Now a state policy that started in May restricts Poole to working 40 hours a week.

Poole says the fewer hours - especially 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening - make a big difference in Cavinder's quality of life.

"There's been a couple of times the catheter, because the bag has gotten too full, it fell off and he's had to sit in his own urine. Also, because of all the water he drinks, that 45 minutes is precious getting him out of that bed, or bringing the urinal to him, because he can't grab the urinal himself."

Cavinder says this new policy is negatively impacting his health. 

" Jeff's not getting the hours he needs to do adequate work for me. That just makes it harder. I don't think anybody's life should be reduced to hours. As human beings, we're not guaranteed the next minute."

Griffin says the policy needs to change.
 
"This is an example of a bad policy where Casey is being negatively impacted, his quality of life is being impacted and I can definitely see the heart of his worker, who wants to do the best and give him the best care possible."

She says the governor's office needs to see how bad decisions like this impact the state's most vulnerable people.
 
"I think it's really easy if you're sitting in the State Capitol and you're going over numbers to maybe just look at the numerical values of those dollars. But, when you look here, you're seeing the human aspect of it."

Griffin - a democrat from Jonesboro - is challenging Murphysboro republican Terri Bryant in the 115th district race for the Illinois House of Representatives.