2002-06-01 / Letters

Spread The Wealth

Spread The Wealth

Dear Editor;

I am both a resident of the Rockaway community, which has a large number of adult homes, and I hold a management position in a skilled nursing facility, which is also located in the Rockaway community.

As a resident of the community, we have experienced initially a large resistance to the adult homes in our community; we have witnessed both those homes that are under very good management, and those that are still operating, and every time you walk passed them, you can't believe they are still open. The population of the residents changed over the years because it is quit evident that there is a major need for our elderly that do not have family support or the financial means to live alone in today s economy. And then there the special care needs of the mentally ill. It's clear we have to take a hard look of these residents needs to ensure then a good quality of life. The system as it appears now just doesn't seem to be working.

I am currently employed in a management position at a skilled nursing facility, which is also located in the Rockaways. I personally work with many of the adult home administrators, in the Queens and Brooklyn areas. I can confirm there is a major need to ensure our seniors and those with mental health needs a safe environment I have had the pleasure to work with many of the adult home owners, and they are a very compassionate and caring group of people, who do want to be able to provide the best for these residents. Unfortunately they are so limited secondary to the funding that they receive. Payment of $28.00 a day to manage there needs is no way sufficient. I would like to ask if anyone else could live for only $28.00 day including 3 meals a day, housekeeping services, laundry services. We do have a major problem here.

The funding that is appropriate for a skilled nursing facility compared to the funding in an adult home is way off the scale. We now have a younger population living in nursing homes only because they are incontinent or they re a bit confused, and Medicaid reimburses over 7 times the amount of an adult home. The City pay 750.00 a month to house the people on welfare in the SRO s, (single room occupancy) in addition to there cash allowance, and food stamp allowance, and these people are perfectly physically able to be out there working and earning there own way in life, but we make it so easy for them to get a free ride. Since the city can invest so much in our younger population, how can they possibly deny our senior citizens, and our medically disabled the care that they need. The mentally ill have been rejected in our society for a long time; it truly is time we did the right thing for them.

I agree there is a major need to reform the adult home industry, mainly in financial funding, every adult home should be able to be approved with at least 50 percent of there beds to be certified to assisted living beds; These residents need more personal care needs, medication management by a skilled person, medical management to ensure they receive only necessary medical care, benefit planning, and individual counseling needs, because so many of these residents have absolutely no one else in the whole world. There has to be funding to ensure these residents have a quality of life.

I also think the agencies handling these inspections are also guilty for allowing adult homes that are not up to standards to continue to operate year after year. The homes mentioned in the recent NY times articles, do not represent the homes that are providing a true homestead for those in need. The agencies in charge have to increase the funding; there should be more of a balance between the funding that adult homes receive versus the nursing home.


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