Have you met Connecticut’s ALICEs? Chances are, you have. ALICE could be the man who counts change for you in the drive-through, or the woman who drives your child’s bus to school. Recently, Connecticut’s United Ways released a report on the state’s ALICEs – or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed residents. The report included some stark numbers, including this one: Thirty-five percent of Connecticut workers – or 474,445 households – cannot afford basics such as food, transportation, health care and housing.
Debbie Hardy, a home health care aide, is the reason that Frank Geraldino, 48, a paraplegic, is able to live in his Seymour apartment – rather than in a nursing facility. Hardy, of Ansonia, is an independent worker providing in-home personal care services, such as bathing and feeding, for people with serious disability. Medicaid covers the bill, but the patients are technically the employers, hiring and scheduling their own in-home care. More than 6,000 personal care workers are listed on various registries as providing in-home care services. The lists include home health aides, who are trained and licensed as certified nursing assistants, and personal care assistants, who are not licensed.