Another morning read
The Watertown Daily Times is reporting another in what’s likely to be a very long chronicle of the trickle down effects of New York’s fiscal crisis and challenged economy.
St. Lawrence County’s Office for the Aging hopes to save $75,000 by cutting a program that helps keep seniors out of nursing homes:
The goal of the program, which helps seniors with bathing, errands and housecleaning, is to keep people in their homes and out of institutionalized care for as long as possible, thereby keeping Medicaid costs in check.
“They have to have a personal-care need to get the service,” said Barbara R. McBurnie, Office for the Aging deputy director. “We’ve started a waiting list because we don’t have enough funds to service everybody who calls.”
The county pays 25 percent of the program’s cost. New York State kicks in the rest.
It’s complicated…County Administrator Karen St. Hiaire told the paper:
“For people who absolutely need it, we’re absolutely going to provide the service,” Ms. St. Hilaire said. “Do I think it keeps people in their homes longer? Yes, I do. We’re just not able to provide services for everybody who wants them.”
Read the complete story here.
This seems like “cut your nose to spite your face” stuff. When folks live at home, there are minimal additional services besides staffing.
Now, we are going to fill up our nursing homes, which by all measures provides a lower quality of life. I bet there will be many folks whose health will deteriorate if they have their requests for home services denied. That means higher health care costs, probably larger than the paltry $75k this decision “saved”.
The same Watertown Daily Times as well as our local Canton PLain Dealer had articles today and yesterday, respectively about two North COuntry School districts getting geared up to do massive renovation projects. How do we contemplate millions of dollars for building upgrades, expansions, artificial turf athletic fields, that will tally in the millions of dollars, while we can’t seem to find 75 thousand dollars to keep elderly citizens in their homes? The old saw that, “Well, the state is going to pay for 85% of it”, seems more disengaged from reality than ever. As I read these articles, I find myself thinking, “Are you kidding me?”
The question is of course does the program really keep people in their homes and what other programs are also doing that?
How much could you really do with 300K in the area of senior care? In reality that is about six or seven CNA’s with benefits and that is if there was no administration.
If the program is working yes indeed it is a good investment.