Personal Care funding continues for thousands of Piedmont seniors

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LEXINGTON, N.C -- A small victory Wednesday had many feeling a sense of relief at  Brookstone Retirement Center.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have extended funding for Personal Care Services to December 31, 2012. The Medicaid backed program which was supposed to be cut on April 30 pays retirement homes all across the state to provide support supervision and the basic needs like personal hygiene to seniors.

Tony Garcia, director of nursing at Brookstone said if the funding is cut, 62 employees will be laid off, and more than 100 seniors will have to find another facility.

"If we have no staff, we are not in compliance with state regulations, which says that we have to have so many staff per resident. So if we don't have any staff, they would shut us down," Garcia said.

According to the North Carolina Association for Long Term Care Facilities, the state may have implement several changes like visitation and allowing personal devices in rooms as a part of the extension.

State officials said the CMS is concerned that seniors living in assisted living centers don't have the same level of service as those who live at home. Garcia believes the new procedures just won't work.

Garcia said he's urging all of his staff and residents to write to Congress and let them now how much PCS funding is needed.