Balancing the cost of care

  • Article by: JIM SPENCER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2011 - 2:42 PM

Cuts mean many disabled Minnesotans get less help with at-home care.

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box127Jan. 12, 1110:57 PM

God bless these people who provide personal cares to people with extraordinary needs. When it is done with kindness and compassion, it means everything.

sanborn40Jan. 12, 1111:43 PM

Please consider coming to "Disability Matters Day" at the Capitol January 25th. People with disabilities have no voice and they need your help more than ever this legislative session! Learn about the key issues at a legislative briefing. Join with advocates at a noon rally in the Capitol Rotunda. Visit your newly elected legislators. Educate legislators about the importance of disability programs and services, like PCA, in the lives of people with disabilities. You can register with Arc Greater Twin Cities. You can help make a huge difference in the lives of people who need these programs!

snowguy716Jan. 13, 11 1:13 AM

My mother is physically disabled and can barely pivot transfer as well as having use of only one arm/hand. Since she lost the ability to walk, PCAs have been important in allowing her to maintain independence. In the past year, her PCA care hours were cut by 40% and more cuts are likely. It is at the point where further cuts means she will have to go to a nursing home, which is far more expensive than PCA care. This state should be expanding PCA programs with stronger oversight to prevent abuse to keep more people at home which saves both oodles of money and allows the disabled to keep their dignity.

tiredretiredJan. 13, 11 1:31 AM

So, once again, government demonstrates that money is more important than people in this country. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of us we do unto Him. We are supposed to watch out for the least able, not abandon them to save a few bucks in tax cuts for the rich.

furguson11Jan. 13, 11 6:06 AM

These are our most vulnerable citizens who want a shot at keeping out of a nursing or group home for the rest of their lives. Cuts are penny wise and pound foolish.

xcvbnmJan. 13, 11 6:46 AM

The PCA program is widely abused and that is harmful to the people who really need PCAs. To be clear, there are people who really need and benefit from PCAs. Those people are NOT abusing the system. But many others are. What is frequently happening is that people with mild health problems (say, a little arthritis in the knees) are applying for, and getting, PCAs to help care for them. Worse, people are making up health problems they don't really have to get PCAs. And, worst of all, many PCAs are falsifying their hours and getting paid to do nothing. These PCAs, literally, never show up at the home of the person with the disability even though the stated need is to help with cleaning and cooking. Others already live with the person with disabilities and don't do anything to help. Often, PCAs are family members of the persons with disabilities who send their relatives to their doctors to get PCAs because they've discovered that it's easy money.

mrpartsJan. 13, 11 7:04 AM

This issue might just be too complicated for our leaders, pundits, and policy makers to figure out. Dumping these people into institutions costs the state up to triple the amount of money as leaving the PCA program in tact. This is an instance where "Cuts" cost more money. Without a catchy political soundbite these people are doomed to a poorer quality of life and the rest of us are doomed to see the cost of care go up. "Lose lose situations" are something we are all becoming accustomed to in the increasingly polarized political environment.

hockeyfoxJan. 13, 11 7:10 AM

Who the the very wealthy fought hard and got their tax breaks from right wing Obama.

rosevillegrlJan. 13, 11 7:12 AM

Penny wise and pound foolish.

momof4wiJan. 13, 11 7:25 AM

Instead of over the board cuts, the changes needed should be based case by case. Many people receiving personal care will tell you,if asked, that their care worker comes in and does as little as possible. A few have said the careworker will sit and watch tv with them, instead of doing the chores assigned. These vulnerable individuals are afraid to report those workers, for fear the worker will be vindictive, and mean to them after being disciplined.In a lot of cases, the worker may be moved to another case, and the replacement is no better than the first. To ensure the vulnerable are receiving the care agreed upon, families need to have the ability to evaluate the workers performance on a monthly basis, to ensure honesty, and adequate care services are being adhered to.Decreasing services to those unable to help themselves isnt a cure to the problem, weeding out incompetent, lazy caretakers is.


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