Say Elimination of Domestic Cuts would Impact over 380,000 Seniors and People with Disabilities
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaking to members of the California Senate Budget Subcommittee this week, Brenda Jackson and Marilla Arguelles, in-home caregivers and members of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW), spoke about the dangerous impacts that the proposed cuts to IHSS would have on hundreds of thousands of frail California seniors, people with disabilities and the caregivers those who provide them with daily care.
"If the proposed cuts to IHSS hours are implemented, essential hours of care that I provide my client would be reduced significantly. I would worry about my client, as I wouldn't have enough time to feed or bathe her and finish all the tasks that are necessary for her to be able to live safely at home," said Brenda Jackson, an IHSS provider and ULTCW member from Alameda County. "The cuts would also affect me greatly as they would result in my hours dipping below the necessary hours per month for me to qualify for health care benefits. I would no longer be able to afford my medication for my high blood pressure."
Ms. Arguelles spoke about how important IHSS funding for domestic services was in caring for her son, who contracted a severe brain virus over thirty years ago.
"The Governor wants to eliminate funding for my son's domestic services. The belief is that these are duties that would be done anyway. But I am here to say that they would not. Because of my son's condition, I am doing twice what I would be doing in laundry, dishes and cleaning every day. We also must shop for his special dietary needs."
Governor Brown's 2011 budget proposes to cut 8.4 percent to all IHSS recipient hours, which would amount to a total of 12 percent in overall cuts when including the 3.6 percent cuts from the 2010 budget. This proposed cut alone would result in over 380,000 IHSS recipients losing vital hours of care they rely on to live safely at home. The budget's proposals also include the elimination of all domestic services funding in IHSS for certain recipients, which includes vital domestic work such as cooking, cleaning and laundry for a consumer.
"These cuts would be devastating for those who rely upon IHSS to live safely at home, rather than going to an institution for their care," said Laphonza Butler, President, SEIU ULTCW. "Our seniors and people with disabilities deserve that choice, but without proper funding, many may not have it. We just hope that we can work with the Governor and the Legislature to find better solutions that protect – not jeopardize – the fragile lives of those in need of care."
SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is California's leading long term care organization dedicated to providing and protecting quality care for some of our most vulnerable residents. SEIU ULTCW represents 180,000 in-home care providers and nursing home workers throughout California, making it the largest union of long term caregivers in California and the second largest SEIU Local in the nation.
CONTACT: Kerry Townsend Jacob, Communications Director, SEIU-United Long Term Care Workers, 213-280-9496
SOURCE SEIU United Long Term Care Workers