Cuts in Home Care Put Elderly and Disabled at Risk
HILLSBORO, Ore. — As states face severe budget shortfalls, many have cut home-care services for the elderly or the disabled, programs that have been shown to save states money in the long run because they keep people out of nursing homes.
Since the start of the recession, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia have curtailed programs that include meal deliveries, housekeeping aid and assistance for family caregivers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research organization. That threatens to reverse a long-term trend of enabling people to stay in their homes longer….
Nursing homes here [in Oregon] cost the state an average of $5,900 a month; home and community-based services cost $1,500 a month.
Other states have made similar cuts:
- Florida placed 69,000 people on waiting lists for home or community services last year, and more than 5,700 of them ended up in Medicaid nursing homes.
- Alabama cut housekeeping services — useful for people who can no longer do some cleaning tasks — for more than 1,000 elderly residents.
- Arizona sliced independent living supports and respite programs for family caregivers.
- Kansas, with a $131 million shortfall, will cut independent-living services for 2,800 people with disabilities in the next year.
- In Illinois, providers of Meals on Wheels have stopped adding clients because the state was not reimbursing them….