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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Initiative 1029: caregiver training

Give caregivers more training

Caregivers help seniors and people with disabilities lead healthy, productive, independent lives [“Reject Initiative 1029,” editorial, Oct. 8]. Doing this every day is demanding physically, emotionally and mentally.

I know. I have been successfully doing live-in caregiving for 33 years. Currently, Washington state requires only 34 hours of training to become a caregiver. In contrast, it takes 300 hours of training to become a dog masseur.

Someone who has responsibility for a human life needs — and deserves — more time to learn the skills of this work! The more training and support one has, the better caregiver one will become! I-1029 makes this training time a reality and provides the support caregivers need to do excellent work by providing quality care for their clients.

I-1029 also closes a loophole in criminal-background checks that allow people who commit felonies, such as rape, to become caregivers. Vote to pass I-1029, and help people with disabilities live healthy, independent lives and be able to stay in their homes!

— Lee Fitchett, Seattle

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