Adult day cares lose funding

Published 3:52 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

Two adult day care centers in Butler County have been told that they will no longer be receiving state funding as of April 30.

The Tri-County Adult Day Care and Lomax-Hannon Adult Day Care are just two of the adult day care centers in the state that will lose funding due to cuts by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, according to Rita Willis, director of Tri-County.

After 36 years of running the adult day care, Willis received a letter on April 2 from DHR stating the contract would be terminated.

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“We provide service to 37 clients under (the Department of Human Resources), and we have 43 medicated wavers,” Willis said. “These clients are the poorest of the population because they only get $600-$700 a month to live on.”

The center provides two hot meals a day and a snack before each client goes home, as well as takes clients to get groceries, go to the doctor or drug store.

“If they are unable to go to town, we take the list and we get it for them,” Willis said. “We provide activities that stimulate them physically and mentally. The daycare is a same-structure environment where their families depend on us to take care of their loved ones while they work. I was told that we would be cut and that was it.”

The cost for one person per day is about $23, Willis said.

“We get our meals through USDA like the schools, but I was told if DHR cuts the contact, so does USDA,” Willis said.

Also receiving the news of the canceled contract was Doris Yelder, director of Lomax-Hannon.

“Who would have ever believed that in all creation that the State Department of Human Resources would one day have to say to our most vulnerable group of people in the state ‘we no longer have funds for you to attend adult day care,’” Yelder said. “There are more than 50 adult day care centers throughout the state of Alabama. This group of people are those who do not require nursing home assistance at this stage of their lives but do receiving meals, transportation to doctor appointments, shopping trips to pay their bills and buy household goods.”

Georgiana Mayor Mike Middleton said he hates to see the center close.

“There was a lot of people in this area from Georgiana and McKenzie that go the center each day and for some of them, that’s keeping them out of nursing homes,” Middleton said. “They’re saying that it’s cutting back to save money but in the long run, it’s going to cost the state money to take care of these people.”

Yelder and Willis must now rely on funds from other sources to keep the centers open after April 30.

“Are we as citizens, churches and communities going to send our seniors, disabled and handicapped people home to perish?” Yelder asked. “Help us by making contact with the state legislators and monetary donations to the center.”

Willis said the center is willing to accept any help to stay open.

“If there’s anybody that can help, we would appreciate any input or suggestions,” Willis said.  “It was a complete surprise.”

Anyone interested in providing assistance can contact Yelder at (334) 382-8438 or Willis at (334) 376-2463.