Senior service programs fear budget cuts

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Several state funded programs across North Carolina fear funding cuts if the Senate’s budget proposal passes. The proposal hits some programs that help the most vulnerable, including the mentally disabled and the older population.

Carolina Senior Care in Lexington helps seniors with doctor care, social skills and nutrition. Currently they have 118 people enrolled.

“I get a blessing out of coming here,” says Miss Floyd who depends on the center.

Miss Floyd is 80 years old. She’s been coming to the center for the past two years and has become more independent.

“Changing my clothes, putting my dirty clothes where they go and getting my food; I can do all that now myself, all of it,” explains Miss Floyd.

There are nine centers in North Carolina like Carolina Senior Care. All nine split $32 million last year. If the proposed Senate budget is approved, their funding would be cut by a total of $2 million. Two other centers are planning to open and would need money too.

“When the majority of your patients are over 65 and the majority of your patients are being funded through Medicare and Medicaid programs the budget cuts become very real,” explains Dr. Scott Sheldon, the medical director.

If the center had to operate with fewer funds they would have to consider cutting services and not allowing new patients. “Without this program these patients would be in nursing homes,” explains Dr. Sheldon.

The General Assembly plans to wrap up in the next few weeks. Once the budget is finalized programs will have a better idea of the money they are left to work with.

 

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