Caring for the elderly can be heartbreaking and expensive. Now, it's on the verge of getting even tougher because of the state budget crisis.
There are 22 facilities in San Diego County known as Adult Day Health Care Centers. The state funds the centers 100-percent but now, the facilities stand to lose that funding and may be forced to shut down.
At the Loving Care Center in Mission Valley, 150 participants go there as a 'bridge' between their homes and nursing homes. The center provides them meals, nursing services and physical therapy.
There are more than 300 of these centers in California set up in the late 1970's as a 'less expensive' alternative to nursing homes.
Now, in light of looming budget cuts, caretakers who run the centers say it would not only be devastating to the elderly and their families to see the centers close but in the long run, it would cost the state more money because the seniors would be forced into nursing homes.
“We're also saving emergency rooms from being overcrowded as well as primary care physicians. So in all, our program is the solution to the problem that we have, it's not something that we need to eliminate,” said Molly Kintz with Loving Care Adult Daycare Center.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office, when asked for an explanation on the cuts, released a generic statement that read in part, “With a $24 billion deficit, there are simply no good options."
So, at this point caretakers here are waiting and hoping for the best.