Friday, February 8, 2008

Policy change may send more people to state hospitals

Here is a link to the original story:

In essence, as of February 22, 2008, the state is going to begin limiting the amount of hours that a parent can care for a disabled child. Currently, if they are qualified, they can provide 24 hours care and be compensated for this work, which keeps people like the man mentioned in the story, out of state hospitals and in their homes with their families. This new policy change is going to change all that, leaving parents replaced by nursing staff (if they are able to find a nurse amongst the shortage) and some parents will be left having to find full time employment outside of the home to replace the subsidy for caring for their child. Where does that leave the child, who still requires 24 hour care? And where does it leave those families who are unable to be assigned a nurse because there is not one in their area?

More importantly, where does that leave a family's right to self-determine the course of action that is right for them? While in theory, it may be appropriate and welcomed for some families to have a break in caring for their disabled loved one, that should be the choice of the FAMILY, not the State of North Carolina. And, what has this policy change achieved when it drives up the number of people in state hospitals, which is certainly not the most cost effective measure?

Families are able to make the right decisions for themselves and should be allowed to do so. And people with disabilities should not be forced into state hospitals over finances when they have willing, able and capable family members to care for them.

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