I have a spinal cord injury which caused me to permanently have to use a wheelchair. My everyday basic needs depend upon caring and reliable personal care attendants to assist me to dress, bathe and do most of my personal cares.

Over the last couple years, it’s been difficult to find and keep enough PCA workers. Especially now during this current pandemic, it’s been nearly impossible. Often people will leave for higher paying jobs and health benefits, which I understand.

Now, it’s even more difficult to recruit new PCAs. Whether they are concerned about their own health and safety with the lack of personal protective equipment or whatever the reason I've been left without care.

When this happens things like pressure sores and other injury related serious medical conditions occur cause hospitalization. Because I can’t find adequate PCA care, I’ve been now moved to a nursing facility. I am scared of contracting the virus being around so many high risk conditions.

I miss being home and feeling safe around my familiar surroundings. Most of all, I terribly miss my cat.

Not to mention the costs to have people residing in facilities compared to their personal home to the people of Minnesota. I’m in my 40s, I don’t belong in a nursing facility.

Please remember your community members who need PCAs to live their lives. Please don’t forget about our health and safety.

Cindy Hagen

Mankato

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