Letters to the Editor

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BUDGET: No more cuts to home-care services

Letter by Rosanne Balsley, Fife on May 9, 2013 at 11:54 am with No Comments »
May 9, 2013 12:52 pm

A hamper full of laundry and a grocery bag: Two common household items that seem easy enough to empty or fill. Easy enough for people who don’t need long-term services and support.

As a home-care aide, I provide vital services for seniors and people with disabilities – people whose laundry requires special treatments and whose dietary needs can’t rely on whim, but require careful planning.

The current state Senate budget proposal for the 2013-2015 biennium would cut funding for home-care services, including laundry and shopping. Some lawmakers believe – wrongly – that volunteers will come fill in to help my clients do their laundry and will drive them more than 45 minutes to pick up groceries or medications.

Home-care clients have already lost an average of 15 percent of their home-care hours through arbitrary budget cuts. More cuts to hours are penny wise and pound foolish because they will cause vulnerable seniors to go to more expensive settings like nursing homes.

If caregivers don’t provide vital home-care services, thousands of vulnerable Washington residents will have rubbish pile up, laundry overflow and cupboards go bare.

Under the Senate plan, big corporations and special interests get priority over vulnerable adults through costly tax breaks. There’s a better approach. Eliminate tax loopholes and use the money instead to help seniors and people with disabilities.

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