Monday, June 13, 2011

Why ADHC Is So Important to Californians

The other week we met a lot of aging Baby Boomers at the Vital Aging Conference in Point Loma. Most thought The George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers were residential facilities, and when they learned we operated adult day health care centers, they were intrigued. Despite being around for almost 30 years, a lot of people still confuse our services with those of skilled nursing or assisted living facilities.

But we are very different -- and for many families -- very vital to the entire family's well-being. As a day care center, we allow families to continue to all live under one roof. And as a health care center, we continue to monitor and medicate loved ones as needed during daytime hours they are at our centers. This gives caregivers additional peace of mind, knowing their spouse or parent's medical needs are met as well as their emotional, psychological and physical needs while they work or run errands.

As many of our readers know, the state has had to cut back on its support in the past couple of years, and now it is weighing whether to eliminate funding entirely, then restructure ADHC. There's an interesting piece in an online publication produced by The Pew Center for The States on the impact if the state of California pulls funding for Adult Day Health Care Centers.  Consider this passage:

Without Medicaid funding — $170 million from the state, plus an equal amount from the federal government — most of the centers will find it difficult to stay open. The 39,000 elders and adults with disabilities who spend their days at the centers — receiving medical treatment for chronic diseases, as well as mental health counseling and physical therapy — will have to find somewhere else to go.

The state says it will find other Medicaid services for the patients, but elder advocates say there are no other facilities that provide the same kind of care. Many patients will end up calling emergency medical services, going to emergency rooms and getting admitted and re-admitted to hospitals. Some will go directly to nursing homes. Instead of paying $76 per day for adult health care, the state will have to reimburse nursing homes at a rate of $200 per day.

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