Friday, May 21, 2010
Forced To Leave Home
Born with cerebral palsy, Ms. Hickey, now 67 years old, is confined to a motorized wheelchair. She lives alone and relies on certified nurse's assistants to get her in and out of bed, bathed, clothed and fed.
In December, she received a letter from the South Carolina Department of Special Needs and Disabilities, saying her weekly 50 hours of personal-care help was being cut to 28 hours. That meant Ms. Hickey would get help for two hours in the morning and two hours at night. If she needed to use the bathroom in between, she would sit in a soiled diaper.
Not a day goes by that I don't hear or read about how states are trying to balance their depleted budgets by cutting services to people with disabilities. Lulled into a false sense of budgetary security by the influx of stimulus money, the time to pay the piper is now upon state governments.
People with disabilities are being forced into institutions because home-based services are the first things cut. Where is the Olmstead Decision in all this? Don't our state leaders read the literature that has proven it costs more to keep a person in an institution rather than in their home and their community?
This article from the Wall Street Journal is just one of many more to come, I fear.