Cuts in program may lead to some very difficult decisions

As we are all aware, the New Jersey fiscal budget has been at a deficit for many years and yes it needs to be fixed, but not at the expense of the disabled and elderly and the people who care for them.

Gov. Chris Christie has proposed a budget cut to the Personal Care Assistance Medicaid program which provides home health care for disabled and elderly clients. If they cannot be cared for at home, where they wish to stay, many families may have the make tough choices.

They will have no alternative but to either place their family members in a nursing home or be forced to leave their own jobs to then care for their loved ones themselves in their own homes.

Currently in New Jersey there are approximately 33,000 certified home health aides (CHHA) providing home care services. Without proper funding for home health care these CHHAs will lose their jobs which in turn will drastically escalate the already increasing unemployment rate in New Jersey.

Home care agencies currently providing these services and employing the CHHA’s may have to make tough choices as well. These agencies will not be able to continue delivering care due to the loss of these dollars.

In the long term this will cost the state more money in unemployment and nursing home expenses. In addition, the quality of life of these patients who so desperately want to remain home and can only remain there with the help of a CHHAmust be a top priority in the decision making process for next year’s budget.

It is our responsibility to make Gov. Christie and our legislators aware of the impact this will have on the Medicaid patients of New Jersey.
Eileen Trionfo, R.N.
Carousel of Home Care Inc.
Freehold Borough