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At Downriver Discussion, Dingell Calls for Certainty in Long-Term Care for Seniors, People with Disabilities

Taylor, MI, April 23, 2019

TAYLOR, MI – In Taylor, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and community stakeholders discussed challenges faced by seniors and people with disabilities in receiving long-term services and supports in their homes and communities as opposed to institutional settings.

Photos from the event are available here.

As the nation’s population continues to age, it is essential that we continue to improve access to home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. Our fragmented system of care leaves many behind and we must ensure that people have the opportunity to receive care in the home or their preferred setting.

“When someone in the family needs long-term care, the system is complicated, confusing, and broken for families and caregivers,” said Dingell. “We’ve heard a lot of important perspectives, from patients, to providers, to advocates, to state government. And if there’s one thing that I am taking away from this discussion, it is that we need to be doing more to create opportunities for people to receive community care, not less, and I am committed to working towards that goal with all stakeholders. Seniors and individuals with disabilities deserve the peace of mind that these important provisions will be there for the long-term, and states need stability and certainty in order to fully implement these efforts.”

This year, Dingell led the passage of two short-term extensions of the bipartisan Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which provides grants to states to help Medicaid beneficiaries voluntarily transition from receiving long-term care in an institutional setting to their homes or a community setting. Dingell also introduced the EMPOWER Care Act that will extend the program for five years.

Participating in the discussion were representatives from The Information Center, AARP Michigan, and the Arc Michigan.

“A full range of services and supports that are accessible to seniors and disabled persons is important. People need different combinations of services and supports at different points in their life. We appreciate Congresswoman Dingell bringing us together and raising awareness to this very important issue,” said Ed D’Angelo, President & CEO of the Information Center.

“Providing assistance with activities of daily living - help with things like shopping, laundry, bathing, and cooking meals – can be the difference that allows someone to remain in their own home, which is where the vast majority of people would prefer to age,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan.

“People with disabilities and those of us gaining disabilities with age want to live in our own homes and enjoy the better quality of that provides,” said Dohn Hoyle, Director of Public Policy of The Arc Michigan.

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