Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) one of 27 private, non-profit Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Mass Home Care are both surprised and disappointed in Governor Deval Patrick’s decision on June 29th to cut another $1.5 million from the state’s ASAPs’ operating budgets.
Collectively, the state’s ASAPs are responsible for managing the daily care of more than 50,000 seniors just in the home care programs.
OCES provides services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health and prevent unnecessary or premature institutionalization.
“Originally, our appropriation for care management was $40.7 million. With the 9c cuts and now the additional cuts by the Governor, we’ve lost $4.7 million in funding which is going to directly affect the very frail and disabled who need our services in order to remain in their own homes. Essentially, these cuts will force an increased number of elders into nursing homes.”
According to Al Norman, Executive Director of Mass Home Care, the announcement was unexpected because on June 5th, when the Governor released his revised House 1 budget for FY 2010, he did not reduce funding for care management. This means that as of the Governor’s revised budget, this was not a line item that was being targeted. Neither the House nor the Senate chose to cut this line item in their budget versions. The Governor lowered the funding for care managers on his own.
“In a ‘community first’ state, it is somewhat puzzling why services, like care management, would be cut, said Norman. He continued, “Nursing homes, by contrast, did not see a cut in revenues, only a cutback in their rate of increase. It appears that community first means community programs get cut first.”
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) is one of 27 private, non-profit Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
OCES serves elders, their families and caregivers in the towns of Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The organization’s mission is to provide services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health; and, prevent
unnecessary or premature institutionalization.
The agency has 130 employees and operates more than 12 programs serving elders, their families and caregivers. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.