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Mike Breslin unveils long-term care plan

Another part of his plan includes installing the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, which would allow the elderly to spend the day in a facility and nights in their own home. Breslin said the program has worked successfully in other counties, with only 10 percent of those individuals who would typically be placed in a nursing home still needing additional care.

Breslin spoke of working with the state to trade nursing home beds for assisted living beds " part of a state proposal that was passed with the budget this year. Eventually, through trading the nursing home beds for assisted living beds, the nursing home would be phased out.

In addition, Breslin said, the county would continue nutrition programs and expand in-home care as well as increase the amount of consumer-directed care.

"We are constantly looking at, 'Who are you and what are your needs?'" he said.

Albany County Legislator Lucille McKnight, D-Albany, applauded the county executive for working with the organizations to come up with a plan for the county's elderly residents.

"We've finally created a program that really wraps around all the needs, from cradle to grave," she said.

After the presentation, seniors present had mixed feelings about Breslin's plan.

"I feel that this is necessary for the future of the elderly," said Eriscilla Oles, 81, of Defreestville. "I am concerned about people who are housed in nursing homes now."

Oles said she was most concerned that the current residents of the county nursing home would feel that they have no place left to go.

Seventy-five-year-old Margaret Jones, of Watervliet, said she would prefer to live in a nursing home than at home because she does not trust the home aides after an experience where she was left alone in the shower by an aide that was hired to help her.

"I think I'd feel safer in a nursing home," she said.

Alice Millington, 70, of Watervliet, said "I thought they did the best that they could do."

Breslin said there is no specific timeline for when this plan will become in effect, though it could take as long as two years, he said.

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