Alert re California Cuts to Social Services to Seniors

Action Alert!  From the Orange County Alzheimer’s Association

Update on California Budget Cuts and the Impact Alzheimer’s Programs

We have never seen government program cuts such as those proposed. The FUTURE costs to California and to our families is inestimable. We understand that many programs and services are cuts, but some of those proposed will COST the State far more than they will save – and will cost our families their very existence. Current cuts proposed are only the beginning – in days and weeks to come, we believe more of our services are at risk.

If we do not act NOW, we will lose decades of ground at a cost to California we can barely imagine. Please review this email – and forward to those you can. This is OUR government and we can and should make our voices heard on issues we know change lives.

Please take five minutes and make a phone call to let your legislator know that you oppose cuts to services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.  Let them know the programs below that are important to you, your clients (and may well be to your parents, if not now, then sooner than we’d like to admit or wish).

Earlier this week local Senator Mimi Walter did not support preservation of these programs, and personally proposed to cut all funding to Adult Day Health Care.

Senator Walters has been a supporter of our work and sits on the powerful committee that works on the budget, but this proposal would devastate people who need Day Care to help them stay in their homes rather than go to nursing homes.

We MUST make sure she understands the value of these services for our fragile families. We MUST be sure other legislators understand that these services are vital to those we serve and save, rather than cost State funds.

The following officials are the key decision makers on these issues. Once you have made these calls, please e-mail so we can track this activity.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger                              916-445-2841
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass                                       916-319-2047
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg  916-651-4006
Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee               916-319-2033
Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth      916-651-4036
Senator Mimi Walters                                                       916-651-4033
Senator Walters’ local office number                         949- 457-7333

Join the Alzheimer’s Association e-Advocacy network.

Send an email to and include your full name and US Mail address. As a part of the network, you will have the opportunity to participate in Advocacy Actions that are timed to have the greatest impact on legislators. Several Alzheimer’s Association ACTION Alerts will be coming as this situation develops.

Thank you!
As an advocate, your voice makes a difference for our lawmakers.


Current Situation

The State Budget Conference Committee has been meeting for the last few weeks to discuss cuts to almost every state funded program. Families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia are among those that will be hit hardest by the proposed changes. The Budget Conference Committee has recommended the following cuts:

Caregiver Resource Centers 30% funding cut of $3 million. This is the OC Caregiver Resource Center – the only resource of its kind in OC.

Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers 30% cut of $1.2 million; This cut will become effective October 1, 2009 – This is the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center !

Alzheimer’s Research Centers 50% funding cut to $3.1 million, Budget language also limits spending to clinical and family services. Funding could no longer be used for data collection. This is the UCI Institute!

Linkages 30% cut of $2.5 million This is an amazing caregiver support services offered through Council on Aging

Adult Day Health Care programs Capped program Limited to participation at 3 days per week beginning August 1, 2009. The recommendations seemed to imply that those patients with higher acuity needs be accommodated. Another bill will be required, but if passed, may allow some individuals to participate 4 or 5 days per week with the requirement that State increase its’ licensing visits to ensure there is no fraud or abuse occurring in these situations. The Committee has included additional funds for the Dept of Health Services to increase its’ oversight and onsite visits to these programs. These programs keep people at home – allow caregivers to have jobs and lives and keep families whole.

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Cut the number of participants by 10% By changing the functional index scores, approximately 43,000 people will no longer be eligible to receive IHSS. Without in home support, many families will need to seek facilities for their loved one.

What Happens Now

Please remember that these numbers are not final. The Budget Conference Committee could decide to revisit any of these issues prior to sending their compromise budget back to the Assembly and Senate for a vote, which must pass by a 2/3 vote. The Assembly Speaker, Karen Bass thinks it should go to the Assembly floor by early next week. They will deliberate until sufficient votes are secured. Then it goes to the Senate.

Once the Legislature has passed the budget, it will go to the Governor for his signature. At that point, the Governor has the authority to go into the budget and eliminate or reduce any of the funding levels as he sees fit. This means that a program the Legislature decided to continue to fund could still be eliminated. For this reason, we will continue to actively advocate for our programs until the budget has been signed by the Governor.

The budget is supposed to be finalized by June 30th but all signs are that the Legislature will once again miss that deadline. In years past, California has been able to continue paying its bills by borrowing money until a final budget is passed. This year, the Governor is saying that he will not provide the authority for the state to seek those loans.

If that happens, beginning sometime in July providers of all of the above services will not receive any further funds until the budget is finalized. Obviously, this is a serious problem that, for some providers, may result in closure of their program(s).

Impact on our Families

At this point, it is impossible to know how our families will be impacted except to say that many are certain to lose access to services. If no budget is passed by June 30th and the state cannot borrow money, that point will be reached sooner rather than later. We are monitoring this closely, but know that some programs will be forced to close.

No final decisions have yet been reached. You CAN make a difference.

Message copied from an email to members from:

Jim McAleer,  President/CEO


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