Press Release – Dec. 14, 2011
Contact: Jerry Jimenez – (408) 219-9636
Candlelight vigil to mourn cuts to seniors, disabled
Home care advocates, elected officials to join
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement Tuesday that automatic budget cuts will go forward– including a 20 percent across-the-board cut to In-Home Supportive Services – home care advocates and elected officials will hold a candlelight vigil tomorrow to mourn the loss of vital services to seniors and people with disabilities.
“These automatic cuts will only trigger more pain for our most vulnerable residents,” said Ellen Rollins, President of SEIU Local 521 Home Care Chapter. “This will only cause suffering and higher costs for taxpayers when elderly community members are forced into expensive nursing homes.”
Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order to halt the reduction in IHSS hours until a hearing can be held on this issue, likely within the next four to six weeks.
The 20 percent reduction in IHSS hours for seniors and people with disabilities comes on top of a previous 3.6 percent reduction that went into effect earlier this year.
The additional reductions will gravely endanger seniors and people with disabilities, who will lose the care that allows them to live safely at home.
Statewide, approximately 440,000 seniors and people with disabilities rely on IHSS for help with nutrition; taking medication; bathing; bowel and bladder care; and other tasks necessary for living.
The average IHSS consumer receives about 86 hours of care a month and will lose about 23 hours as a result of this cut. Approximately 250,000 seniors and people with disabilities are expected to be hit with the full 20 percent cut to service hours.
WHAT: Candlelight vigil to mourn looming state budget cuts to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
WHO: Home care providers, consumers, advocates, and elected officials
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 15, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Alfred Alquist State Building, 100 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose
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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org