Advocacy groups rally for home care funding

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You’ve seen the commercials.

A patient who can get medical care at home picks a loved one or close friend to look after them, and they get paid for it.

However, advocates for those people who need the care say changes proposed by the State Health Department might jeopardize their care. 

The advocacy group, Western New York Independent Living led a demonstration outside of state offices downtown today saying the changes could make it impossible for groups such as theirs to participate.

This program is called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services and Independent Living reviews the caregivers for their participants, to make sure they are qualified and capable of providing home care which is less costly than hiring a professional or going to a nursing home.

Independent Living joined other advocacy groups for a rally in Albany last month, and they say state lawmakers are opposed to the changes the health department is trying to make.

Activists say there are close to 50,000 consumers across the state that received self-directed assistance.

State Mental Health spokesman told us, however, will continue to receive services as they do today without any reduction in care, with no change in cost, and the program will continue to be available as it is today to new consumers.

The NYS Dept. of Health released a statement in response to the informational picket outside the state offices on Perry Street today:

The Executive Budget maintains the state’s full commitment to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.  The more than 70,000 self-directing consumers who employ their own aide, including in some cases family members and friends, will continue to receive services as they do today without any reduction in care, with no change in cost, and the program will continue to be available as it is today to new consumers.  

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