Adult day care services in jeopardy in Shelby

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Funding cut in half, officials say

By Lisa King

Shelby County’s Adult Day Care Center will be soon be forced to cut its services in half due to a reduction in funding, officials say.

The center, located at the Shelby County Senior Citizens Center on 207 Washington Street and operated by Mulitpurpose Community Action Agency, will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days per week, but that could change as soon as next month, said Pat Sullivan, director of the adult day program.

“Right now, because of the lack of funding, it’s going to cut services, so some of our clients that have been coming five days a week because their caregivers work full time are going to be cut to two and half, three days, something like that,” she said.

And by next June that funding could be completely gone, ending the Adult Day Care.

The majority of the funding comes from the Department for Aging and Independent Living, a state agency, but as a social model the center can also attract funding from private pay clients and donations.

Said Sullivan: “As a social model, we take only private pay, or state funding – that’s all we’ve ever had – and donations, and Metro United Way [funding] for Adult Day.”

“KIPDA is going to try to allow some funds to us. Of course we get Metro United Way funds, we get that for our adult day, but that’s not going to be enough to keep us open on its own without other funding,” she said.

Barbara Gordon, director of social services at KIPDA, explained how the funding works.

“We contract with adult day cares to support clients that we fund, or serve, utilizing state general funds for adult day,” she said. “We have several adult days [centers] that we contract with in our region, but we only have two in our rural counties, one is at multipurpose, the other is at Tri-county.”

Sullivan said that the funding cut is going to be very detrimental to those who depend on the center.

“That is devastating for caregivers, when they have family members who have dementia or Alzheimer’s who can’t stay at home by themselves,” she said. “So we are planning to stay open in some capacity until the end of next June, but it’s going to affect us this year, because we may have to start closing a day or two. We may not be able to stay open as much as we have. It was kind of thrown at us all at once.”

The adult day center is set up to care for people with dementia, Sullivan said.

“Most of our clients have dementia and care givers depend upon our services, so they can work and still keep their family member at home,” she said.

Kim Embry-Hill, executive director of the MPCAA, said she just got the news recently.

“They’ve [Department of Aging] decided to do this, just out of the blue, almost, and KIPDA [Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency], in trying to help us – in case we want to try to become a medical model [and use Medicaid funding] – is going to try to maintain funding at half the level at the present fiscal year,” she said. “And that’s if our clients can even manage with that, and that’s all up in the air, because some of our caregivers work and they need somebody to take care of their people full time.”

Gordon explained that the funding being cut is to individual clients, not to the center itself, adding that it’s the state general funds that are being cut.

“Those funds, the social model, adult day care general funds, are going away,” she said. “Not my decision, but they are. We are using some alternative funds to help support adult day care clients through the next fiscal year and their care plans have to be reduced because there’s not enough money to support them at their full level through next fiscal year.”

That will mean that those people will only receive funding to go to adult day cares about two or three days a week, Sullivan said.

But, Embry-Hill said, even if the decision is made to convert the center to a medical establishment, which will be similar to a nursing home atmosphere, that would not help the people it serves now, because then Medicaid would have to pay for it and most of them are not eligible.

“We won’t be serving the senior population the way we are now,” she said.

The cost to use the center is $8.20 per hour, and Embry-Hill said that the most anyone would pay per day is $70.

Currently, the adult day care center has four private pay clients and four who receive state funding. 

Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) said the move is a result of a health care restructuring process with the state.

“The Department of Aging has done a complete overhaul of their infrastructure and how things will be funded, how waivers will be applied,” he said. “They’re focusing more now on nursing support and in-home care and more funding for meals on wheels, that sort of thing. The actual dollar funding was not cut from the state, but the state has communicated, the state being the department of aging, through the various districts, that their focus and emphasis is changing. What they’re looking for is where their biggest needs are and where the biggest bang for their buck can be.

The department has made the decision that the adult day social care is not serving enough people across the state to continue that funding long term.”

Shelby is part of a 7-county region, which serves 51 adult day clients, including the eight in Shelby County.