Elderly and some disabled residents in Fillmore County, Minnesota will soon experience a significant change in the way they can receive certain home care services. While the county had been providing some of these services through the Fillmore County Public Health’s Homecare Program, that is being terminated.
That means if aging residents need any type of direct home care support or a visiting nurse, they will either have to look elsewhere for a provider or pay for it out of pocket.
As noted by the KIMT3 News blog, Fillmore County to Stop Home-Care Services: ‘It Provides Another Challenge for a Family to Overcome’, written by Jeremiah Wilcox:
“KIMT spoke to supervising nurse Tara Thomas at Visiting Angels homecare service, the company that provides services Fillmore county will soon get rid of. Thomas said that the ones who will be affected the most are the seniors who rely on people coming to their home and assisting them.
“As people get older, they want to spend the rest of their lives in their home,” said Thomas.
But in Fillmore County that won’t happen.
Joe Sedelmeyer is the director at Visiting Angels. He said that he used to have clients in the county but it was too far for their workers to go there everyday.”
This isn’t the first place in the country where aging seniors suddenly found themselves struggling to have access to essential in home care support services. In North County San Diego a few years ago, the only home care agency offering services to locations such as Palomar and other remote regions decided it could no longer afford to send its aides to houses so far away; the federal government was trimming reimbursement rates for these services and that made it more difficult to keep up these services.
While more isolated areas are most susceptible to these challenges, it creates more struggle for elderly men and women who truly have difficulty maintaining their safety and even dignity at home.
Now, for aging and disabled residents of Fillmore County, they may have few options outside of leaning on family or friends and neighbors. Some seniors may be forced to go without care and that could place them at a significant disadvantage and in an incredibly unsafe situation.
If seniors who truly need support can’t pay out of pocket for home care (which will most likely have to include travel expenses for their caregiver), they may have no other option besides nursing home care, and that doesn’t offer them the quality of care or life they could receive remaining at home, where they’re most comfortable.
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