Longtime Wyandotte residents Ken and Hazel Woodruff are getting used to the extra attention they've been receiving since appearing in a TV ad in support of Michigan Proposal 4, the Keep Home Care a Safe Choice campaign.
Members of the Wyandotte Democratic Club for more than 33 years (Ken is the second vice president), the couple filmed the commercial to support which would mean screening and training for in-home care workers, Hazel said.
“It was an honor to be chosen,” she said. “As we go different places, people walk up and ask if we are in the ad.”
The two remain humble despite the recognition.
“We say we were there to promote the ad and not us,” she said.
A World War II veteran, Ken Woodruff would “certainly rather be home” if he needed care, Hazel Woodruff said.
“We love our home, and we love Wyandotte,” she said. “We wouldn’t want to go anyplace else.”
They have been married since 1955 and have lived in their house for more than 50 years. The Woodruffs raised three children in their home and have a lot of memories there.
In the TV commercial for Proposal 4, Ken Woodruff said, “The thought of going into a nursing home is hard to imagine.”
The proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution, establishing the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and providing collective bargaining for in-home care workers. It also would give seniors and people with disabilities a registry that links them with prescreened home care providers in their area.
In-home care workers would have training and receive criminal background checks, Hazel Woodruff said. Those who need in-home care could choose a provider from the registry, and if that person doesn’t fulfill their needs, they could use the registry to find another.
Proposal 4 would save taxpayers and the government a lot of money, Hazel Woodruff said. The cost of two to three months in a nursing home, at several thousand dollars per month, is almost the life savings of an average person, she said. Then, the government takes over paying for the patient’s nursing home care.
“I think it will save the country a lot of money,” she said.
Filming the TV commercial for Proposal 4, which will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, was an enjoyable experience, she said. It took about three hours, including an interview, several pictures and one clothing change. The interview and filming began in their house.
“We had to change costumes then into gardening clothes,” Hazel Woodruff said.
The Woodruffs became involved in the ad through Hugh Madden, someone they know from the Democratic club and other contacts in the community.
It was a very pleasant experience filming the Proposal 4 commercial, and they participated for humanitarian reasons, Hazel Woodruff said.
They’ve received a lot of phone calls from friends and relatives, in Wyandotte and beyond.
“Most people told us they recognized my voice before they saw the commercial,” she said.
This is the ballot language Michigan voters will see for Proposal 4 of the Nov. 6 election.
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH THE MICHIGAN QUALITY HOME CARE COUNCIL AND PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR IN-HOME CARE WORKERS
This proposal would:
* Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC). Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.
* Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care.
* Preserve patients’ rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members.
* Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.