E. WA Elderly and Disabled Burdened by Budget Cuts

By Paige Browning

Leaders in Eastern Washington’s services for elderly and disabled people say the sequester cuts are hitting home, quite literally, for them.
Friday, Aging and Long-term Care Executive Director Nick Beamer said the federal budget cuts could mean the different between a person staying at home with a caretaker and meal deliveries, to them being sent to a nursing home.  He says that transition would pose a tremendous cost to the state and federal budgets, which fund his agency.
Beamer: “The cost in a nursing home can be anywhere from 150-170 dollars per day. Now our total budget would provide on average $1,100 for the entire year.”
Beamer and a half-dozen other people spoke about the local reality of budget cuts.  Jon Snyder, city council member and chair of Aging and Longterm Care of Eastern Washington, says it’s not a partisan issue.  He stood next to council member Mike Fagan and said the federal cuts take over $150,000 out of the Aging and Longterm Care Network.  The organization serves more than 9,000 people each year.
Beamer says it’s affecting all of their services.  Snyder says other agencies hit include SNAP, Meals on Wheels, and Rural Resources Community Action.
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