They provided an option so that many families could care for their elderly loved ones. But with state budget cuts, hundreds of adult health day care centers could soon close.
For the past four months, the South Bay Adult Health Care Center has been a home away from home for 64-year-old Josefa Taylor.
“We came here right after she had her stroke in July,” says Cynthia Sanchez, Taylor’s daughter.
Sanchez says three times a week, this place gives her mother the day care she needs while allowing Sanchez to maintain her full-time job.
“She does physical therapy, she keeps her movement, she learns how to eat with a nutritionist. She's a high-risk diabetic,” says Sanchez.
Since 1976 the Chula Vista-based program has served thousands of adults with disabilities, with nearly 85 percent relying on assistance through Medi-Cal.
“It's a $76-a-day fee that not everyone can afford,” says Janai Quintana, executive director of the South Bay Adult Health Care Center.
But on Dec. 1, the State of California plans to end Medi-Cal funding for all of its adult day care health centers. This program – which has given support to many low-income Latino families– faces that cut.
“They wouldn't be aware of it and what's available for them. They'd be stuck home with nothing or in higher institutional care,” says Quintana
Institutional care was not an option for Sanchez's mother before now.
“I feel nursing homes are for individuals that don't have family. That is a lost cause,” says Sanchez.
It is a cause for health care hitting home for many who may now have to look elsewhere.
“We love them. We try to help them, but sometimes you get to that situation where you can't, and these programs help people like myself, so that they can provide for her when I'm not able to.”
The center is waiting on the outcome of a federal lawsuit that challenges the cuts filed by Disability Rights California. A hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled on Nov. 8.