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Personal care services for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients could be cut in January

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CANDOR, N.C. --- The New Year will be bringing its challenges for the Sandy Ridge Memory Care Center in Candor.

It's one of many that will lose funding for personal care services for patients that have Dementia or Alzheimer's.

Sandy Ridge's Director Harold Vanderveer says this could force them to close.

"It's going to devastate the communities, I mean where are all of these people going to go," Vanderveer said.

Sandy Ridge is classified as a "Special Care Unit"; the issues with these centers in North Carolina started when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pressed the state to changed the way it reimbursed for personal care services.

Those services including things like bathing, dressing, feeding, and even toileting.

The state was paying for PCS at different rates for people in these centers versus those living at home.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid told the state the practice violated the law and should be resolved.

Vanderveer says because of this, he's going to lose over $1500 a month he receives for each of the 88 patients that depend on personal care services.

"Our goal was to be the best. Our goal today is to just survive," Vanderveer said.

It's even more difficult for the families of those who live in Special Care Units.

Johnny Monroe's 80-year-old mother-in-law lived in Sandy Ridge for over 3 years.

He can't imagine what she would do if services stop there.

"I wish the state would look at other areas that they need to cut before they even start looking into doing away with anything that looks after the elderly," Monroe said.

The state is still trying to work with CMS to find a permanent solution.