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Prevention might reduce long-term care needs

I read with great interest the article “Nursing Home Saga Continues” in the March 28th edition of The Loudonville Spotlight. As a provider of community based services to senior residents and their caregivers for the past 25 years I understand the compelling issues on both sides of the nursing home debate and recognize there will always be a portion of the aging and disabled population that will require long –term institutional care. However, as the saga continues in the legislature regarding the need for and costs of building and operating a new nursing home I am disappointed in the lack of emphasis on the value and cost effectiveness of community based services. Older adults have the right to live as independently as possible with dignity in their homes and community with appropriate support services. Cost effective and preventative programs such as home-delivered meals, companion programs, senior transportation, in-home services, adult day care, caregiver support services and congregate programs are the underpinning in the long term care solution both locally and nationally.

I commend and appreciate the legislature’s commitment and efforts to provide our most vulnerable residents with the very best quality of care in the very best and progressive nursing home possible. However, I urge the legislature to carefully consider and invest in the proven cost effective and preventative benefits of funding community based services to our elderly Albany County residents in need of these vital services. Working together we can plan for and meet the needs of present and future older residents and reduce or delay the need for this more expensive model of long term care.

Christine M. Cary,

Director

Town of Colonie Senior Resources Dept.

Christine M. Cary

Director

Town of Colonie Senior Resources Dept.

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