ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Directors of the Office of the Aging from seven different counties across the region sounded the alarm for the state to help the home-care crisis.

The group chanted their cry for action, “Who will help us as we age? Pay home care a living wage.”

Directors of the Offices of the Aging from Schoharie, Fulton, Sullivan, Columbia, Otsego, Greene, and Delaware counties shared their struggles of a growing demand for at-home care and the lack of staffing to provide help for those who need it.

“If you can imagine having a family call you desperately seeking help for their mother or father and all you can tell them is you can’t find a worker to help them,” David Jordan, Executive Director of Montgomery County Office of Aging, said.

Executive Director of the Aging Association of NY State Becky Preve said many nurses and aides are leaving the industry because of low wages. She said it’s not just an issue plaguing rural areas, but New York’s largest cities as well.

“It is an issue facing every single area agency on aging in New York State,” Preve said.

The advocates who gathered at the Office of Aging in Schoharie County are putting their support behind The Fair Pay for Home Care Act—a bill that plans to raise wages and set reimbursement rates under Medicaid and managed care plans.

During the press conference, Preve also revealed a new study by CUNY Graduate Center that projected the bill would create over a quarter of a million jobs for women in New York and almost 181,000 jobs for women of color.

Preve urged Governor Kathy Hochul to include funding for the bill in next year’s executive budget.