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Older Californians with disabilities struggle to remain at home as public programs lose funding
Date:12/7/2011

many seniors with Alzheimer's and other debilitating conditions. The Multipurpose Senior Services Program, which provides social and health care management for those who are certifiable for placement in a nursing facility but who wish to remain in the community, has also been reduced. And study participants who rely on supplemental security income checks experienced continued reductions in their cash assistance, forcing them to cut back on already meager budgets by reducing food purchases and making other cuts.

For Monique and her husband, the ADHC centers provide essential respite hours that allow them to work full time and care for Monique's mother, Yvette, 78. Yvette attends an ADHC center five days a week. Should the center close in the future due to budget cuts or reduce its hours, the couple is worried about who will care for Yvette and how they will pay for it.

The recession and continued economic downturn also has hurt the state's low-income seniors. Fran, 82, who has diabetes, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and a history of a brain tumor, was living in a home she owned when the study started a year ago. During the last interview with a researcher, she was facing foreclosure and was in search of affordable housing.

Consolidating programs, enhancing caregiver programs could improve long-term care

California has a system of fragmented and uncoordinated programs for older adults with disabilities that are difficult to navigate. The study's authors recommend establishing a single point of entry with a common eligibility and assessment process, such as the national Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which pools Medi-Cal and Medicare funds. The Affordable Care Act has already designated four California counties to design innovative ways to coordinate long-term supports and services with the goal of a statewide program. The law could also better prepare, educate and engage both family caregivers and
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Contact: Letisia Marquez
l.marquez@ucla.edu
310-794-6963
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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