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The Services Of Caregivers Might End

The Services Of Caregivers Might End

Governor Schwarzenegger has called for a budget cut that would result in elimination or reduction of the services of caregivers that are provided through the state program called the In-House Supportive Services. The cuts would keep the services for the most-needy persons, thus saving the state exchequer in the way $863.7 million in the next budget year that begins on July 1. If there is approval of the state budget by July 1, the cuts would become effective in October.

So for caregiver Chelsie Guillette, who is working for Karlyn Echols, who is suffering from ulcer and had half her stomach removed and is also an arthritis patient, this budget cut would mean a reduction from $9.15 an hour to $8.60. Guillette works for 12 to 13 hours every day that includes looking after a quadriplegic man, in addition to providing nursing services to Echols.

Echols is concerned about this reduction in caregiver services. He worries about what the seniors as well as disabled people would do without the much-needed caregivers. Echols said that she can hardly walk from her bedroom to bathroom and uses a wheelchair.

According to the state Department of Social Services, the enrolment for IHSS was expected to go up to 462,000 next year while there is an estimated 58,000 participants who would, under the cost saving plan, receive help.

For Stanislaus County officials, the effects of the budget cuts are grimmer. To him, if the cuts get passed to close the budget gap of $24 billion, about 95 percent of people in the IHSS program in the county, with a total strength of 6,037 people would be on their way to lose their job. Thus, there would be about 300 people remaining in the program.

The services would be available to people who are mostly in need of help and is measured according to a functionality index for the participants of the program every year. Those people who require help for most of their daily chores as well as activities are most likely to keep their caregivers. Same is true with the severely disabled clients requiring help with any activity.

According to Egon Stammler, who is the assistant director of adult services for the county, if the proposed cuts are passed, then a considerable percentage of people who are in the program would visit nursing homes.

In earlier budget years, severe social services cuts were proposed by Schwarzenegger that were not past by the Democratic majority of the Legislature. But this time, in order to balance the budget, it is feared that the people would have to face difficulties.

Stammler said that by providing assistance in homes, the expensive nursing home cost involved could be avoided by the state, which sometimes goes up 4 1/2 times more than the $13, 000 that is spent every year on the IHSS client on an average. If people are able to remain in their homes, they are also in better emotional health and they respond healthily to medical care, concludes Stammler.

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