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Ralliers at Statehouse want care options besides nursing homes

Sen. Earline Rogers D-Gary speaks Tuesday March 26 2013 Statehouse rally. | Matt Mikus~Sun-Times Media

Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, speaks Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Statehouse rally. | Matt Mikus~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 28, 2013 6:36AM



INDIANAPOLIS — Senior citizens and physically handicapped people gathered at the Statehouse on Wednesday to share the importance of home and community-based services that can help keep people in their own home, instead of having to move to a long-term care facility.

At the Rally for Independence, Indiana residents from all corners of the state gathered to show how a little funding to help those who would prefer to stay home on their own goes a long way.

Members from the Northwest Indiana Community Action Corp. (NWICA), covering six counties including Porter, Lake and Newton, came to the Statehouse to voice support for continued funding for home-based services.

“It helps seniors and disabled to be able to remain in their homes,” said NWICA president Gary Olund, “It covers things like home health care, nurses assistance, and home delivered meals.”

Home support is significantly less expensive than nursing homes, which took up almost 80 percent of the state’s Medicaid spending in 2012, compared to 20 percent for home support.

“I’m just happy that there is an organization out there that’s supports us,” said Julie Mortier, an AARP spokesperson. “They can take care of the daily care, and I can stay in my home, and see if there’s access to transportation, but I don’t need to be in a nursing home, I just need a little bit of extra help to stay at home.”

A number of organizations came to show their support, like Meals on Wheels, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Supporters explained that providing financial help allows a person a choice rather than having no other place to go but a community home.

Charlene Mahone of the East Chicago branch of the NAACP said the idea also allows different cultures to adopt an extended family approach. She cares for a family member, and when discussing the options, it was obvious to her that a nursing home would not be the best choice.

“When that discussion came,” Mahone said, “he gave me a look saying, ‘Please don’t do that to me.’ There was no other question to ask.”



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