Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tenn. Budget Cuts Impact Families

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Major state budget cuts will soon impact hundreds of Tennessee families who care for disabled loved ones.

Some believe that the cuts are so severe that it will greatly impact the quality of care for patients who depend on around the clock care.

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is cutting $47 million from its budget. These cuts will impact around 700 families.

Nursing services will be limited to 12 hours a day, and 215 hours a month is the new limit for personal assistance services.

The Tennessee Disability Coalition believes when you cut quality of care that will send more people to the hospital, or to institutionalized care which ends up costing the state more money.

On any one day, five health care professionals stop by Linda Gill's home. A brain injury as a toddler has caused lasting brain damage into her senior years.

"Initially we are going to lose one of the caregivers, for each shift," said caretaker Claudette Reed.

The 24-7 care that surrounds Linda is about to unravel because of state budget cuts; the hours that a personal assistant spends is about to change.

"Eventually we are going to be cut to 50 hours, which essentially means there will be no one to care for her, except for family, and there's not any family left," Reed said.

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