The California state budget passed in June held good news for almost no one, but for the more than 35,000 elderly and disabled citizens who rely on the state's Adult Day Health Care Program (ADHC), the final word from Sacramento was particularly dire. Praised across party lines as an effective, innovative and far less expensive alternative to institutionalized care, the Adult Day Health Care Program provides frail individuals suffering from a range of chronic conditions with medical and supportive services, usually in the very communities in which they live. But unless a pending lawsuit is successful – Medi-Cal funding for the program will end on December 1st of this year, forcing the closure of the state’s 300-plus Adult Day Health Centers. Opponents of the plan worry that pulling this safety net might mean that thousands of individuals now served by the centers will end up in nursing homes.
Last Friday afternoon, the Brown Administration released a draft proposal outlining how it will transition the care of individuals currently using ADHCs. In this hour, we look at the plan and ask what will in fact happen to the tens of thousands of Californians who use these centers? What does the program’s elimination say about the future of community-based healthcare models? Is California prepared to address the needs of its growing aging population?
- Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, representing California's 8th Assembly District. A social worker and longtime advocate for seniors and the disabled, she chairs the Assembly's Aging and Long-Term Care Committee.
- Micheal Pope, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay, a non-profit organization providing a range of programs for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and for their families.
- Elizabeth Zirker, Staff Attorney with Disability Rights California, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities.