New Yorkers Have the Right to Age with Dignity

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) joined his colleagues today at the Million Dollar Staircase at the Capitol to call on New York State to do more to support older adults. Nursing homes and home care agencies continue to struggle due to lack of funding and workforce shortages, which is impacting the care our loved ones receive.

“One of my priorities this year is to make sure that older adults across the North Country and New York State have the right to age with dignity,” said Jones. “We need to make sure that our nursing homes have the resources they need to treat their residents. I have visited nursing homes across the North Country and have seen firsthand that they are doing their best with the resources they receive to provide care for our loved ones. However, they need proper reimbursement so that they can address the workforce shortage. The state needs to provide more funding for these services which includes increasing reimbursement rates and rate rebasing for nursing homes, as outlined in A5905 which I proudly cosponsor. The state also has a responsibility to provide funding to help nursing homes hire more staff and mitigate the workforce shortage that is causing too many New Yorkers to not receive the healthcare they desperately need.”

“Increasing Medicaid funding for nursing homes is crucial,” said Diane Weinberger, LNHA at Meadowbrook Healthcare. “By doing so it is committing to the well-being of our elderly. By increasing support in this way, we as staff working on the front lines feel empowered and seen: it encourages us to continue to provide unparalleled quality with no barriers. Ensuring a dignified and comfortable life for those who built our communities by providing exceptional attentive care.”

“We also need to continue to support home care agencies and make sure that rural communities like the North Country are not left behind,” Jones continued. “Home care agencies also need proper reimbursement so that they are able to hire more staff. That is why I have proposed a bill to increase reimbursement rates for rural health care providers to cover the actual costs of providing these services in rural communities (A2470). Whether you choose a nursing home or home care, all New Yorkers deserve to age with dignity, and I will continue to push for more resources to make sure that older adults receive the medical care they deserve.”

“I appreciate the support that has always been provided to home care by Assemblyman Jones,” said Becky Leahy of North Country Home Services. “He has seen firsthand the importance of our Aides services during his home care visits with our staff. Most of us as we age want to have the ability to remain in our homes as long as possible. Home health care services provided by qualified Aides allows the elderly and disabled to live out their lives safely and with dignity in the comfort of their homes. Home Care Aides are critical to the provision of quality, effective and economical long-term health care. The care Aides provide adds immeasurable value to the health care system by helping the elderly remain healthy, safe, and engaged in their communities. We see it every day where their skills have provided healing, prevented injuries and escalation of illness by being the eyes, ears and heart of home care. The return on investment can be enormous by avoiding ER visits and hospitalizations and this is why it is so important for policy makers to see the value of home care aides and to fund both Medicaid and Office for the Aging programs.”