Illinois senior care providers brace for budget cuts
Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:15:29 GMT —
Senior care services in Illinois are holding onto what little money they've received from the state.
It's caused concern for both employees and their clients who rely on them in their retirement years.
"We've had to borrow money to make ends meet. The state is behind on some programs approximately six months behind, on elder abuse, they're six months behind. On the community care program, they're three or four months behind which is a huge part of our budget," Brenda Fleming said.
Brenda Fleming with the West Central Illinois Case Coordination Unit says her office cares for 639 clients over the age of 60.
"Unfortunately, over the years, more families have moved away from Quincy, so the services for seniors are really needed more today than they were 30-years-ago," Fleming said.
Services include in-home care as well as an adult day care inside the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center, at 6th and York St.
"With me, to come down here, it's the fellowship. I'm a people person," Maxine Schaffer said.
Schaffer and her husband always appreciated the help they received through both services. Even after his passing last year, Schaffer continues to come to the center.
"It helps me out an awful lot, takes up part of that emptiness. I still miss him, but it helps a lot," Schaffer said.
The cost to keep someone in the home is roughly $900 a month. The cost of a nursing home averages around $3,200.
It's services like these that continually face budget cuts from the state. Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the Department of Aging funding is under-appropriated by an estimated $200 million and the state is on track to repeat history in the coming year.
"There probably will be cuts to the program no matter what happens," Fleming said.
Fleming says she's asking all of her senior care providers to reevaluate the needs of their clients. It's the hope they'll be able to cut back some areas of care to save on funding.