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Budget Proposals Turn Back Clock 30 Years in Long-Term Care Services for California Seniors

February 1, 2010

Policy Note

Authors: Steven P. Wallace, PhD, D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, PhD, MPH, Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, PhD, MPH, A.E. Benjamin, PhD, Nadereh Pourat, PhD

In this "Policy Note" analysis paper, the authors examine the likely impact of budget cuts to the state's community-based and home care services on low-income older and disabled Californians. Specifically, the authors consider the 2010-11 budget proposal made in January by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's office that would eliminate or drastically reduce programs that help low-income older Californians remain safely in their homes: In-home supportive services (IHSS), SSI/SSP, Adult Day Health Care, Medi-Cal and Cash Assistance for Immigrants. The authors examine data provided by nine counties to determine the characteristics of seniors likely to lose services under the proposed cuts. Among the findings: many of the seniors who will lose services are severely disabled, including those with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments and those who cannot shop for food without "substantial" help.

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