Through the years our Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys have come to understand the important way that state budget decisions affect the care provided to our state’s most vulnerable residents. It is likely fair to say that the total scope of the Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect problem is influenced every year by the choices that our lawmakers decide upon when allocated state resources for services to those who need it most. Understanding this dynamic is why we advocate on behalf of common sense budget policies that take the effects of service cuts on these community members into proper account.
The consequences of the often proposed draconian cuts are severe. For example, the Daily Breeze this week discussed massive service cuts that are expected to hit California soon. Many officials believe that the total number of elder abuse claims, 911 calls, nursing home placements, and emergency room visits will rise dramatically after proposed cuts take effect that take away assistance for those who need it most. In order to save money the state is cutting aid to roughly 23,000 seniors and low-income adults who have physical and mental disabilities.
Service cuts on this level had virtually never been seen, and those involved are essentially taking a “wait and see” attitude. As one elder care expert explained, “cuts to this degree have never been done before. Nobody really knows what will happen to people when these services are terminated.” However, almost all agree that these changes will mean that thousands of the area community members will simply be left to fend for themselves while trying to get by each day.
The changes are already affecting many seniors. That state has begun closing adult day-care services, where many elders attended during business hours and received basic supervision, physical therapy help, nutrition tips, exercise, and socialization. The care was helpful for those who needed a place to go when family members or caretakers were at work. With these centers set to close, it is unclear what these seniors will do. However, the day care closings were just the beginning. In the next three months massive service cuts will take effect that will place many seniors in incredibly difficult situations. They will literally go from having assistance with basic tasks one day to being completely on their own the next.
Many different elements play a role in the quality of care that seniors receive throughout the country and degree to which elder abuse and neglect affects those community members. Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that state funding and oversight are important aspects. These choices made by legislators literally end up as life and death decisions for these seniors. It is vital that all those who care about the treatment of these individuals understand that stakes at play when these choices are made by elected officials. It is only with a true appreciation of the affect of these decisions that proper advocacy can be applied to hopefully influence the policymakers to prioritize these seniors in need.
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