Cutting Funding for Senior Healthcare
is in No One’s Best Interests
A Message from Celine
When Steve first came to us, he suffered from a litany of serious medical conditions. His symptoms included frequent and erratic seizures, blood pressure that fluctuated to extremes, and cognitive and communication problems due to a stroke. His life was in turmoil because he could no longer work, and he was unable to manage his health.
Steve was the first person admitted to the Collabria Day Program when we opened our doors over 21 years ago, and he is still in our Day Program today.
But, Steve’s life couldn’t be more different now. With the ongoing clinical support he receives in our Center, his seizures are under control and his blood pressure has remained stable. Not only does he engage in activities at our Center, but he has created and led new group activities, inspiring others through his own achievements and his outgoing personality.
In the early days, as more seniors came to our program, about 20% showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Today, that number has risen by 70%. Along with the increased number of Alzheimer’s patients, we witnessed firsthand the enormous toll the disease was taking on the families and caregivers of the afflicted, so we created a two-pronged approach by adopting evidence-based practices in caring for the person while providing support and resources for their caregivers—becoming an Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Center (ADCRC) in 1999.
With the sky-rocketing projections for Alzheimer’s disease in Napa County, especially in the Latino community, we have strategically built and trained our team to respond to this serious emerging need. Our award-winning person-centered care practices have become a model for other organizations and our ability to integrate new, evidence-based best practices was instrumental in attracting a $1 million grant for our Dementia-Capable Napa Valley project.
Sadly, our ability to operate the Collabria Day Program in its current format is in serious jeopardy as proposed changes in the state budget, currently being considered in Sacramento, would eliminate funding for Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) adversely impacting people like Steve, and our population with Alzheimer’s and other serious illnesses, their caregivers, and their families.
Across California, eliminating CBAS and other Adult Day Health Care programs would mean the immediate loss of essential services for 37,000 vulnerable seniors, thousands of whom would be discharged to nursing homes, which are already reeling from the consequences of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Here in Napa County, the Collabria Day Program has been highly effective in filling gaps in care for very real medical and social needs in our community. Every day we implement comprehensive, customized care plans for our participants, all of whom have highly complex medical needs. Participants who come to us have, on average, 10 serious medical diagnoses, which we monitor and control. With our stellar on-site clinical staff, we coordinate medical treatments with the participants’ own doctors and their families, so that there’s a continuity of care when the participant returns home in the evenings.
By integrating medical care with lively, social, therapeutic activities, we’ve seen a demonstrable reduction in depression, isolation, and illness. Our center is a joyful place where on any given day, participants can engage in singing, painting, gardening, discussing current events, or creating presentations of their life stories to share with their peers.
Each participant has a personalized exercise program commensurate with their physical condition and personal health goals, to help them maintain their muscle tone, and thereby their ability to walk, climb stairs or move around safely. Their risk of falling is carefully monitored, as falls can have devastating consequences for the elderly and the frail. The added benefit is keeping them out of emergency departments and hospital beds.
Families throughout the county trust us with their loved ones knowing that we will not only care for their loved ones physically and socially but that they themselves will be able to have their own autonomy to attend to their own professional and personal needs with confidence that their mom or dad or family member is being cared for with kindness and compassion.
Cutting funding for these programs serves no one’s best interest, not the families who depend on them, the community who supports them, and least of all, our precious seniors who deserve to spend their elder years in wellness, safety, and comfort.
Contact your state representatives while there still is time, and demand that they restore funding to CBAS programs.
Watch to understand why Greg and Paula rely on our Day Program
See how different participants rely on the program
Resources to contact your California State Representatives