Public makes plea on nursing home

McCoy’s privatization plan has little support at public hearing

— “These kinds of reports make me nervous, a facility getting cited for not being thorough when investigating alleged abuses,” Hubalek said. “Take the time to talk to other community health care providers that interact with this company. Six to eight weeks is not enough time to make this decision. … Is this truly about the residents?”

Upstate Services runs the Hudson Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in the City of Albany.

Others spoke out at the hearing wondering if the facility’s workers will be able to keep their jobs if the nursing home is privatized.

Representatives from the Albany County Department for Aging also expressed their concerns about possible budget cuts. In addition to reductions on the table, McCoy has said if the budget with its tax hike and privatization plan does not pass, many programs including the Department for Aging might have to be eliminated altogether.

Lettie Saheim, president of the board of the Cohoes Senior Center, said in the 10 years she’s voluntarily been on the board, she’s noticed a decrease in senior support from the county. The Cohoes Senior Center provides several outlets to help the community’s seniors, including transportation from their homes to events and doctor’s appointments.

“Most of the centers are struggling to exist,” Saheim said. “We are having fundraisers just to pay for our van for transportation. It’s just getting harder and harder to provide full services for our seniors in need.”

Keith Hornbrook, executive director of the Cohoes Multi-Service Senior Citizens Center, Inc., said they created a petition asking people to sign against cuts and keep funding for senior programming.

“We are 20 percent of the population and receive less than 1 percent of the budget to support services,” Hornbrook said. “All of our organizations have made adjustments to compensate for or absorb these losses. We’ve reached (the) point where more adjustments compromise the fabric of the network of providers who deliver these vital services to seniors in our community.”

The Legislature must adopt a budget in December.

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