As we have noted over the last few days, Friday's proposed CA State Budget cuts will have brutal effects on elders & their caregivers. All Adult Day Health Programs & Caregiver Resource Centers, which help working caregivers keep their loved ones at home (rather than in nursing homes ) are being eliminated. IHSS (In Home Support Services) is now available for only the very few who are near death, and the hard workers of IHSS have had their pay cut to ribbons. Alzheimer's Research Centers have been put on notice for closure. And the list goes on.
A Brief History: In 2004, funds were earmarked for mental health services (supported by voters in Prop 63), but the funds have been slow to be released. In this 2009 May election, Props 1D & 1E were the Governor's attempt to divert these funds into the General Fund from that reserve, (he said "temporarily"---for 2 years) to balance the budget. Groups like the CA Nurses' Assn & CA Psychological Assn were against this notion, for obvious reasons---and the voters opposed it too. But the Governor has taken action anyway, which will impact services beyond the impact proposed in the Propositions. Ironically, the Governor's budget proposal is going to burden CA even more than if the Propositions had passed. One example: Low-mid income caregivers who work will be forced to decide: Do I give up my job or place my loved on in one of the already-crowded MediCal nursing homes (which will cost the state MORE money) because Adult Day Health is gone? Also, A.D. Research Ctrs, and the Caregiver Resource Centers (which provide free case management, counseling, legal, respite, etc. services) will be gone. Yes, the rich can afford private case management services, but what will the poor-to-middle income caregivers do?
They are relying on our voices. At this time, I am requesting that members of Senior Roundtable act now to preserve funds for the services mentioned, as well as others not mentioned herein.
I realize that this will take a few moments of your time; but, as we directly serve the growing population of elders, it's important that we ensure preservation of these much-needed, vital services. Unfortunately, the Governor's attempt to balance the budget using mental health funds won't work, and 4,000,000 caregivers and their elder loved ones will suffer.
Use the information below to contact your legislators. There is a template for your use as well. Good luck to all! And thanks to FCA (the umbrella org for all 11 Caregiver Resource Centers) for providing the template.
* * * ACTION ALERT * * *
PLEASE KEEP UP YOUR EFFORTS!
OUR VOICES ARE BEING HEARD ON THE DEVASTATING BUDGET CUTS IN CAREGIVER SUPPORT
Slated for elimination or drastic reductions in the proposed state budget are ALL 11 Caregiver Resource Centers in California including Family Caregiver Alliance, and crucial services including Adult Day Health Centers , Alzheimer's Research Centers , Linkages programs and more. The cuts would remove almost 80% of older and disabled adults from In-Home Support Services (IHSS) alone.
The proposed cuts are short-sighted and ill-conceived. Nearly a half-million people in California are at highest risk of nursing home placement.
Why cut cost-effective services that support families and actually SAVE the state money by delaying nursing home placement? We need your help now to save these programs.
Brain-damaging disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke and Parkinson's require long-term care that is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. 80 percent of that care is provided at home, not in facilities. What will families do without resources to help them give care?
We need the power of our voices raised together to make a difference. Many of you took the time from your busy schedules to do this already, and it is having an effect. But there's a long way to go. If you haven't contacted the Governor and your legislators yet, please do so TODAY.
Important budget decisions will be made between now and Saturday. Call, write, email or fax your message. Contact info is below.
Thank you so much for your support!
Using the format below, prepare a brief letter in your own words (and on your letterhead if appropriate), to describe: Your reaction to this situation; the help you receive from Family Caregiver Alliance or other groups being cut; and/or what would happen if you & others no longer have these resources. Ask other caregivers, friends and colleagues to do the same. Request that funding be restored in the budget for 2009-2010. Some important points are bulleted below.
Contact Budget Committee Chairs and Sub-Committee chairs and Senate. Send a copy of your fax to your local California Senator and Assembly Member(s), and to FCA. A list of Senate and Assembly fax numbers is below. You can easily send multiple faxes by going to the free trial service at:
Refer to Budget Item 4440. You can find your legislator on the web at www.legislature.ca.gov.
Also contact Governor Schwarzenegger at: (916) 445-2841 (phone) or fax (916) 558-3160 or email email@example.com . There's no time to waste. Please act today!
Dear [Senator] or [Assembly Member] [Last Name]
[Chair or Vice Chair]
Sacramento , CA 95814
Re: Caregiver Resource Centers
Please reject the elimination of the Caregiver Resource Centers that provide critical services to those who care for the most needy in our state.
• Over 80% of long term care assistance is provided by family and friends - we are the long term care workforce.
• By keeping our relatives at home we save the government the cost of more expensive care in nursing homes and other facilities.
• Keep the safety net of community services for those with dementia, stroke, Parkinson's, MS and other disabilities intact - these services are also critical.
• Work with the California Association for Adult Day Care Services, the Alzheimer's Association, Family Caregiver Alliance, the California Caregiver Resource Centers and other stakeholders to find alternative savings while protecting our caregivers and loved ones.
Phone or fax your message to:
Darrell Steinberg, President pro Tem:Tel: 916.651.4006; Fax: 916.323.2263
Denise Ducheny, Chair, Budget Committee:Tel: 916.651.4040; Fax: 916.327.3522
Robert Dutton, Vice-Chair, Budget Committee: Tel: 916.651-4031; Fax:916.327.2272
Mark Leno, Chair, Sub #3, Budget Committee: Tel: 916.651.4003; Fax: 916.445.4722
Karen Bass, Speaker: Tel: 916.319.2047; Fax: 916.319.2147
Noreen Evans, Chair, Budget Committee: Tel: 916.319.2007; Fax: 916.319.2107
Roger Niello, Vice Chair, Budget Committee: Tel: 916.319.2005; Fax: 916.319.2105
Jerry Hill, Chair, Sub #1, Budget Committee: Tel: 916.319.2019; Fax: 916.319.2119