Group warns Texas budget cuts may harm 'frail elderly'

Mar 10, 2011

Proposed budget cuts in Texas have some worried that the state will no longer have adequate elderly care.

The Texas Association of Homes and Servicing for the Aging is concerned that the recent cuts to the Medicaid budget for nursing homes may have tragic results, the group said.

According to TAHSA, the state cut funding for elderly long-term care by 34 percent in an effort to help close the budget's $27 billion shortfall. However, the group believes that this decision will cause many long-standing nursing homes to have to close their doors and leave the elderly that they formerly cared for with nowhere to turn.

The group believes the effects of the budget cuts will extend beyond harming the elderly, also causing mass job loss as a result of shutting down large, long-term employers.

George Linial, the group's president, is calling for state lawmakers to immediately revise the budget and increase the amount provided for Medicaid assisted-care facilities. "These cuts risk the health and safety of our frail elderly in Texas. I am fearful for the consequences these cuts will have," Linial said.

Elderly Texans who cannot afford care facilities may have to rely on a family member as a caretaker. Those in this situation may consider reviewing their life insurance policies to list their caretaker as a beneficiary in an effort to mitigate the expense of their care. 

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