Act Now to Save Consumer Control in Long Term Care in PA!

Speech from Kate Blaker to members on Thursday, December 8, 2011, at Holiday Event

Most of you know me. But for those who are new, I am Kate Blaker and have held several positions here. At the present, I work with the Nursing Home Transition program. I also assist consumers to advocate for maintaining their services.

Recently, our elected officials have appointed staff to policy making roles that have made decisions that negatively impacted Home and Community Based Services. That means that the people who chose to live in the community rather than an institutionalized setting have had their services changed in one way another.

I belong to PA ADAPT and we have visited officials to call for a positive and caring response. On Tuesday, people from the area and along with other advocates from across the state traveled to Harrisburg to support state providers in a rally held at the capitol. We distributed a flyer to explain our concerns.

These are the demands:

  • Approved services plans in a timely manner and save money! Our homes not nursing homes!! People overwhelming wish to live at home instead of costly institutions.
  • People are dying waiting for services in the community and in nursing homes. Give us the Community First option NOW to allow people with disabilities to choose independence and not a life in an institution. NO MORE WAITING LIST!
  • Pennsylvanians need a real Olmstead Act now and PA ADAPT want to help you write it!
  • Stop going backward and continue to rebalance our long term care system.
  • All people with disabilities need home and community based services and these services should be based on functional needs. People with autism and cognitive disabilities should not lose access to home and community based services.
  • Bring back theCommunity Living Advisory Council; disabled people are experts on what they need in the community. We demand a seat at the table.

You all have heard that call to serve your country: Uncle Sam Needs You! Well I have a better one: You Need You! It sounds a little off. But YOU are the only one that can advocate for YOUR services. TRIPIL can assist you with the right tools. I hope to see you at TRIPIL and at our next ADAPT meeting.

But I ask you not to wait. ACT NOW!! Pick up a phone to call your local representative and let know him that you want his support, write a letter to your local newspaper, and there are dozen of other ways that you can advocate for your services. What you do now will definitely reflect what PA will look like in the future

Kate Blaker