Southern Illinois legislator voices concerns about elder-care program
A Southern Illinois legislator is speaking out against action which he says will impact senior citizens.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said this week that a plan by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration will strip care from 40,000 elderly residents, remove criminal background check requirements for caregivers and create new costly bureaucracy – all while reducing the overall quality of care for seniors.
“Many seniors rely on Community Care Programs so that they can stay in their own homes and avoid having to move to a nursing home,” Phelps said in a news release.
Phelps said he is opposing a plan announced by the Illinois Department on Aging to unilaterally cut 40,000 seniors currently receiving home care through the Community Care Program, and place them in a new and untested program called the Community Reinvestment Program, CRP.
Phelps said that senior advocates, including AARP and the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers, have expressed concern that CRP lacks the standards and requirements that are critical to seniors’ health and security, while creating new layers of government bureaucracy.
The administration’s draft rules for CRP also remove regulations that currently require caregivers to undergo criminal background checks, Phelps said.
Under the Community Care Program, companies are carefully screened to confirm they do not have a history of scams or fraud, and that all employees in contact with seniors do not have criminal or sexual convictions. This critical safeguard is removed under CRP, Phelps said.
He urged residents to call the Illinois Department on Aging at 800-252-8966 and to speak out against the proposed cuts.