Home care aides, visiting nurses, and others who offer any type of in-home care support face a number of challenges. Sometimes, it’s not just about the work itself. In major metropolitan regions (and other locations) where parking is a premium, a simple quick stop by at a client’s house to check on him or her could be met with mindless minutes circling the blocks, waiting and hoping for a space to open up.
For some of these workers, those ‘quick stops’ could lead to parking tickets, especially if they honestly believe they’ll only be a couple of quick minutes to check in on a client. A parking ticket in most cities across the country today, that can equal half a day’s pay and for in home health care service providers, that can be crippling.
Some advocates have taken up the effort to find a solution that makes sense. One is to appeal to the authorities to give these workers a break, especially for those short stops.
In an op-ed piece written by Sarah Gross, Allison Hesketh, Jonathan Kolodziej, Anastasia Spratley, and Madison Tallant entitled, Mayor Walsh, don’t ticket home care aides, published by CommonWealth Magazine May 6, 2018, it was noted:
“Most home care agencies require workers to drive to their client’s residence, since home care aides are often responsible for grocery shopping or picking up medications from the pharmacy. As many of us know firsthand, finding a legal parking space in Boston can be challenging and time-consuming. Many home care aides receive parking fines or even have their car towed for parking in residential spots without a permit. These problems are likely to be exacerbated by Mayor Marty Walsh’s announcement on April 2 of proposed increases to parking fines this summer. Parking tickets for unauthorized parking in a resident parking area will surge from $40 to $60 per infraction. These changes could substantially harm the workers who provide care for some of Boston’s most vulnerable residents.”
Depending on where a home health care aide lives and works, their challenges and struggles could be far greater than they would for a rural caregiver. Grabbing medications from a pharmacy, doing a quick stop at a grocery store for a client, and more can also compound the parking challenges in congested cities.
Parking is a problem that can affect many caregivers and tickets are not something most can readily afford. This could be a concern more people may want to address as increasing numbers of people require direct home care support across the country.