Below is an account from Nellie Price, a colleague of ours at Health Access, perhaps showing that advocacy runs in the family:
On Tuesday evening, my Aunt called me to let me know she and my Uncle would be in Sacramento the next day visiting with legislative offices and testifying before a committee regarding Adult Day Health Care (ADHC).
My Aunt and Uncle live in Chico, where I grew up. They, along with numerous other members of my family, were born in Chico and have lived there for their entire lives. My Aunt’s sister, who is 70 years old, is schizophrenic, diabetic and an amputee. She lives in Butte County and travels 40 miles Monday through Friday to attend the Peg Taylor ADHC Center. At the center, she is able to receive blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring, care for her amputee stump, monitoring of her diet and her medications.
Just recently, she fell and fractured her left humeral head. After a month at a convalescent hospital, she was released and given physical therapy. The Peg Taylor Center was able to provide the care for her and she currently has full range of motion.
My Aunt and Uncle have both recently retired, and My Aunt’s sister is able to be part of the community and an active part of family activities. But I wonder about people who don’t have these “simple” luxuries. And families who aren’t able to take time to advocate for other family members.
I attended the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services today with my Aunt and Uncle. It seemed as if the majority of the room was there to testify on behalf of ADHC. The committee had to interrupt the testimonies for an hour to get back to the Assembly to try and reach a verdict on the Maldonado nomination, and then returned. My Aunt was not discouraged, thankfully, and we hurriedly got her back in line to testify in front of the committee.
Though she was briefly cut off with one sentence left, she was able to say exactly what she wanted and felt good about her visit to Sacramento.
After all the other testimonies were heard, the committee had interesting things to say. Assemblyman Hernandez stated he was very unsure that ADHC can be completely eliminated after what he’d heard and the personal visits he’d made to ADHC centers in the area. He thought cuts could possibly be made, but not a complete elimination. Whispers of relief were heard throughout the room.
Assemblyman Chesbro opened a discussion about particular costs, which Assemblyman Beall quickly joined, adding that perhaps we should add up all the costs of people already in ADHC versus those not in ADHC and look at the differences. Assemblyman Beall thought there might be higher costs without ADHC, and more costs of programs in isolation. He also stated this was something to look at within the Waiver, and that we need a more integrated approach to serving people and saving money.
Overall, the process for my Aunt and Uncle was long and exhausting and they learned a lot. They know it is far from over legislatively, but they are not finished either.