On Wednesday, April 18, 2012, residents and staff of Plum Creek Supportive Living in Rolling Meadows visited the Illinois State Capitol. The visit was scheduled to show how vital Supportive Living Facilities, SLFs, are to Illinois.
SLFs provide apartment-style housing, socialization opportunities, and support services for residents that are not yet in need of full nursing home care. Additionally, SLFs accept Medicaid, which is the main difference between a Supportive and an Assisted Living Facility. Assisted facilities are private pay.
In today's economy, many families cannot afford the high costs of Assisted Living Facilities. Without SLFs, families all across the State would be left without options for their senior family members.
It is for those reasons that resident from Plum Creek Supportive Living, along with other facilities across Illinois, converged on the State Capitol to not ask for more funding, but to merely ask that their funding not be taken away.
The current proposal that would affect SLFs, as reported by fellow ChicagoNow Blog Aging in Chicago, "would reduce annual admissions to SLFs by 1,300 residents."
That is 1,300 residents that do not need full nursing home care, yet do not have the money for Assisted Living care. What are their families to do if SLFs do not have the funding to care for them? In today's world, people cannot just quit their job to stay home and care of their elderly, nor do most families have the financial means to provide the needed care.
Residents and staff of SLFs know that the harm from budget cuts will far out way the benefit of saving money. Families depend on these facilities, and when the facilities have to make cuts, Illinois families will suffer the consequences.
In addition to the proposed devastating rate cut, SLFs already only receive 60% of the rate that nursing homes take per patient. However, the current proposal would, according to Aging in Chicago, "delink SLF rates from SNF rates and avoid an automatic rate increase to SLFs." A SNF is a Skilled Nursing Facility, more commonly known as a nursing home.
What is essentially at hand here, and so important to SLF families, is that not only are they wanting to cut the funding, with the proposals before us, nursing homes will eventually start receiving more and more money, while SLFs are left in the dark.
So, even if you cannot make a trip to Springfield to help fight for SLFs like some seniors did, you can still help SLFs. Visit the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition homepage to find out more about the program and how you can help sustain it.
Plus, be sure to join Plum Creek Supported Living and other facilities as they celebrate Supportive Living Week this week. I will have more posts on SLFs in Illinois this week, so be sure to check back for updates.