Letter: Save elderly, disability services from budget ax

Just like most of my friends and family, I want to stay in my own home as I get older. Yet, I understand the state’s budget does not protect home- and community-based services that would allow people to age successfully in their own home.

Due to loopholes and budget protections carved out to protect other priorities, people with disabilities and the elderly are left out in the cold and exposed to budget cuts year after year.

If home- and community-based services remain unprotected, while nursing homes and hospitals receive budget protection, an overwhelming vulnerable population would be at greater risk because they are left unprotected.

I hope that legislators will support Sen. Fred Mills’ legislation, Senate Bill 355, which will protect home- and community-based services, as well as similar health care programs, such as hospice, from the budget ax. Senate Bill 355 will ensure that the battle of budget cuts is no longer borne by the elderly and people with disabilities or by the family caregivers struggling to take care of their families.

If you want to live in your own home as you get older, then pay close attention to what’s happening in our state Legislature now.

Brenda G. Hatfield

volunteer state president AARP Louisiana

Baton Rouge