JO SCHMIDT, WESTMINISTER THURBER COMMUNITY
Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility
Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century
Ohio Statehouse- Columbus, Ohio
Monday, September 24, 2001
Madam Moderator, Members of the Commission...I need your ears! Mine are 84 years old! There's another segment of the aging population you should listen to - OURS!
Even at Westminster Thurber Community in Columbus, Ohio - OUR HOME - there are those among us who have felt the shift of the financial market and find themselves without adequate funds to pay for care. Were it not for the protective safety net of a Continuing Care Community such as ours - they would be turned out on the street.
We are acutely aware of the cost of recruiting and training staff and the
importance of having good, caring staff members. We experience it every day.
We are also aware at the State level of the Congressional Senate Bills 706
and 721 and House Bills 1426 and 1897, addressing the nursing shortage.
These bills were sent to committees in May and June but nothing has been
reported about them since. THE CRISIS IS NOW. Current Medicaid rates paid to nursing homes are less than the cost of one night's stay in a hotel.
Many of you probably have decent medical insurance plans, but do you have ANY idea what the cost of medications is without a drug card? For example, a month's supply of:
Zyprexa for dementia is $274
Actos for Diabetes is $93
For high cholesterol, Lipitor is $90
Prilosec for stomach problems is $236
Too often it's a choice between buying food or medications.
Too many people are EXISTING in Nursing Homes with Government financial assistance - people who could function well in an Assisted living environment - - but Medicaid does not give financial assistance to such facilities. Therefore, many of these people are FORCED to live in a more expensive and restrictive environment.
You've heard ---and we've read - the documented testimonies from Syracuse.
We believe you need to hear from this segment of the population we represent, who live the life of the aged every day - the life you may one day be living ---for we are all just TEMPORARILY ABLE.