January 27, 2009 in Letters

Adult day care saves money

The Spokesman-Review

The governor proposes to eliminate the adult day centers across Washington. These centers are an invaluable resource for our families and caregivers.

The centers care for frail elderly, providing skilled services of rehabilitation, speech therapy, medication support and social events on a daily basis. The centers also provide respite for caregivers. The adult day health service is a fraction of the cost of a nursing home placement. A lot of these clients will end up in nursing homes if this budget is cut.

Medicaid reimburses the adult day center at $51 per day. The clients come an average of two to three days a week for approximately $400 per month. The nursing home fee is approximately $6,000 per month. So where is the savings in cutting this program? The adult day center is a safe and secure place for our frail elderly to be during the day and it actually saves the taxpayers money.

In addition, the center provides caregiver support, education and assistance with coping skills. The center also provides information and referrals to other community programs and financial resources from which the participant might benefit. All this to keep folks in their homes as long as possible.

So, Governor, how is this saving money? I ask Washington state citizens to call the legislative hot line number, (800) 562-6000, and suggest that this service not be cut for our frail elderly.

Jana Matthews

Nine Mile Falls

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