Don’t Cut Community Health Care Programs for Elderly and Disabled Adults

Old Man on Bench

Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Reinstate protections that keep senior citizens out of nursing homes and provide rest for overworked caregivers

Up until April 2012, all aging and disabled adults who qualified were able to seek the care they needed in various community centers as part of the Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) system—a program targeting frail seniors with cognitive, mental and physical disabilities who needed additional care but didn’t quite need to be institutionalized. The goal of this program was also to provide caregivers the rest they desperately needed, as many were frequently overworked and experiencing declines in their own health due to staying up all night taking care of a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. These community-based services were also much less costly than traditional nursing homes—an expense our taxpayers have since absorbed after ADHC was eliminated last June. Following much opposition, a new program called CBAS (Community-Based Adult Services) was presented and passed, which would render approximately 8,000 previous recipients ineligible for services due to a budget cut nearly in half. These people will eventually end up in hospitals or nursing homes, costing the state at least five times as much at they were before. But ultimately, their freedom and inclusion within the communities they love will be robbed of them, due to penny-pinching measures by the state that will actually cost us a lot more in the long-run.

Shortly after the Adult Day Health Care program got axed, Governor Jerry Brown also vetoed a bill passed by legislators titled ‘Keeping Adults Free from Institutions,’ which would ensure similar services once funding was cut. He specifically stated in his veto message, ‘While my Administration deeply shares the goal of ‘Keeping Adults Free from Institutions,’ creating a new ADHC look-alike program at this juncture is unnecessary and untimely.’ What does Jerry have against the elderly?

Urge the government to protect our senior citizens as well as valuable caretakers, who are doing the best they can to help the aging population lead normal lives outside of unnecessary institutions.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

Recently, you eliminated a valuable service to our community called the Adult Day Health Care system, which provided aging seniors who qualified with the nursing and social services that would keep them at home and out of institutions. After replacing it with CBAS some months later, as many as 8,000 patients were no longer eligible to receive the same services they needed, due to lack of funding.

If expense is really your priority, then consider the fact that it costs approximately $5,000 per person each week for nursing home care versus under $800/week for those in programs like Adult Day Health Care. Please expand coverage of the services offered through CBAS to include those who were eligible under Adult Day Health Care, or reinstate this previous system altogether.

As Guardian Adult Day Health Care Center founder Peter Behr eloquently stated, ‘These are the aged, the blind and the disabled. They’re people’s parents who worked their whole lives and paid into the system, and now they need help.’ Please help us help them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: las – initially via Flickr

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63 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Mal Gaff
  • jeff hopkins
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Alexander Dolowitz
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
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