Gov. Pat Quinn: Caring in America’s Heartland

March 5

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn talks about long-term care programs in his state and the effects of the Affordable Care Act on caregiving at Washington Post Live's 2013 Caregiving in America forum. (Meena Ganesan/The Washington Post)
Gov. Pat Quinn at Washington Post Live’s Caregiving in America forum in Chicago. (Photo by Ashlee Rezin/The Washington Post)

“Caregivers have servants’ hearts. I think we always should understand that they have that ability to help another person. Service to others is the rent we pay for our place on God’s Earth. That is why we have to make sure everyone in our state and our country understands how important caregivers are.

“Our budget reflects our values, and so does how we behave toward our parents and those who are older than us. We have a program called Community Care that we’ve spent almost $1 billion on for low-income adults who need help to stay in their homes. We want folks to be able to stay in their homes and in their neighborhood. We have individuals [to help older people] who are hired at modest salaries but with benefits, and with an opportunity to grow in the job. We also have a volunteer program called Senior Companions, where folks who are at whatever age can volunteer to be a companion to somebody in their neighborhood or someone they know. The heart of Illinois is the heart of a volunteer. We want programs that engage everyone and do things that are necessary — mow the lawn, shovel the snow, listen and talk, read together, watch television together. I think companionship is very important.”

-Gov. Pat Quinn, (D) Illinois

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Meena Ganesan · March 5