Borja Alvarez de Toledo says the home care workers he employs "perform miracles," when they do the dressing, bathing and light housework that allows elderly adults, who are eligible for nursing home care, to continue to seek personal care services at home.

And yet, these workers are paid $13.50 an hour and are never eligible for benefits, said Alvarez de Toledo, CEO of Waypoint, a nonprofit agency that provides different social services throughout New Hampshire. The low wages and lack of benefits make it extremely difficult to find employees willing to provide this essential service.

For a healthy society

Before making Earick Newton’s lunch, Ann Werden, an LNA with Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, cleans his glasses at his home in Westmoreland. “It’s critical, it’s really needed. People need to take [home care providers’] jobs more seriously,” Newton said. “They really are important jobs, and they should get paid adequately to provide the service that they do. We all get old, and we could all get hurt at any moment … I think you need [these jobs] for a healthy society.”

10 critical hours

Ann Werden, an LNA with Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, goes through Earick Newton’s morning routine at his home in Westmoreland Friday morning. They go through stretching, dental care, getting dressed and making lunch before she leaves for the day. Newton currently receives 10 hours of care each day at his home, and has needed care since a car crash left him paralyzed in 1993, at the age of 26. 

Funding for the Monadnock Region Health Reporting Lab comes from several sources, including The Sentinel and several local businesses and private donors. We continue to seek additional support. The newsroom maintains full editorial control over all content produced by the lab.

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