More and more people are understanding and accepting that home care is a valuable benefit for millions across the country. Unfortunately, cuts at the federal level have been directly impacting availability of hours for those who need this type of service most.
It may have been an unintended consequence, but when the federal government cut Medicaid reimbursements to home health care services by 14 percent to help pay for the Affordable Care Act of 2010, it would ultimately mean some aging seniors and disabled adults would no longer have the same access to quality care they had been depending on for some time.
Stories of these men and women scrambling to find help, being forced to deal with 12 hours of help a week when they had been receiving 20, for example may not make the headlines, but for those within the industry, they understand the impact it has had.
There is great benefit in depending on home care aides instead of family members for help, but because of some of these cuts, families have been left scrambling.
As reported by the Gaston Gazette in the news blog, Home health care provides woman with independence, written by Bill Poteat:
“Two of my BAYADA nurses — Chasity Bridges and Toni Birmingham — have been with me for nine years and six years each. They are like family to me, and they really are lifesavers. Without them, my parents would not be able to work and keep me at home, and I certainly would not have been able to experience college life.”
Without her nurses, Patel said, her parents would either have to quit work to stay home with her or place her in a nursing home.
“I want to continue to contribute,” she said. “I want to be of service to others.”
“I ask that our legislators be mindful of what funding and service cuts can mean – not only to the financially needy or to the elderly – but to 23 year olds like me who want to continue living a full life.”
Funding for home care support services doesn’t strictly depend on the federal level. It also depends on the state. Many states are grappling with tight budgets and budget deficits and are therefore seeking various places to further cut spending.
Home care is one industry that doesn’t seem as though it can afford any more cuts. The victims may be relatively quiet, but the pain they endure and the struggle they face is quite boisterous and readily apparent in their lives.