Life Without Adult Day Health Centers?
March 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
Jada, a 77-year old widow, tells me from her easy chair in a shady living room illuminated by the glow of the tv screen:
“Oh… he [California Governor Schwarzenegger] cut a lot, he cut. You can’t have anything to do with your teeth anymore, you can’t go to the dentist, you can’t go to the podiatrist, you can get your eyes examined but you can’t get glasses, and my glasses, my last pair of glasses, has this thing is about to come off, I wanna see if it can be repaired.”
This was two years ago. In July 2009, MediCal – the free health care system for low-income Californians – stopped providing access to incontinence pads, eye care, dental care, foot care, speech therapists and psychologists.
Last week, the new Governor cut funds to Adult Day Health Centers: “State whacks Adult Day Health Care system” reads the first page of the San Francisco Chronichle.
Jada attends one, she enjoys her time there. Several other informants praise the personnel at their centers. Adult day health centers are a good place to meet friends, social workers, and nurses and just get out from familiar walls.
Without them, life is much harder – especially with a son in prison like Jada, or without friends and family members nearby like may others.
What is the hardest part of living alone, I ask Jada.
She says: “Having company”
“Having company?”, I ask.
“Yeah, getting people to come and see you.”