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Massachusetts Elders Rally for Home Care

January 31, 2013

Elders rallied at the Massachusetts State House on January 17, calling on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) to restore cuts to home care services in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

Several elder advocacy groups in the state sent the governor a letter in September stating that $15 million in home care services have been cut from the state budget since 2009.

Consequently, 2,200 people are on the waiting list to either receive home care services or increase the home care services they have, wrote the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Association of Councils on Aging, Association of Older Americans, and Council for Home Care Aide Services.

“We do not want this waiting list situation ever to become business as usual in this state,” says the letter from the aging and home care organizations.

“Your Administration has embraced the policy of ‘community first’ for elderly and disabled services — but we need to match the rhetoric with revenue,” they wrote.

The Massachusetts Senior Action Council says that home care services have saved the state $703 million annually by keeping elders in the community and out of more costly nursing homes, a article reports.

While Patrick did not meet with the protesters, Massachusetts Elder Affairs Secretary Ann Hartstein did.

“I think that you’ll be pleased with what you see in the budget in terms of the elder budget overall,” Hartstein is reported to have said. She also encouraged the advocates to make sure they voice their concerns to the legislators.

— by Deane Beebe

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