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Elimination of Adult Day Health Care Services and the Impact on Long-Term Care Planning

By Sara Polinsky, Esq.

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One possible alternative may be to apply for benefits under the In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which helps subsidize some of the costs of in-home care, based on an evaluation of need by a social worker.  However, it is not a good alternative due to the fact that it, too, has been severely cut recently.  Furthermore, IHSS participation and hours are determined by a social worker and ultimately, the care is provided in the home.  One of the biggest problems that the elderly and their caregivers face is isolation and lack of socialization.  ADHC Centers allow them to participate in numerous programs and socialize with others at the same time.

Although several advocacy organizations, including Disability Rights California, are attempting to bring a federal lawsuit as an effort to prevent the elimination of coverage for ADHC programs, there is no way to know for certain what the outcome will be.

From a long-term care planning perspective, it now becomes more important than ever for families to discuss their wishes and plans in the event of a serious illness.  Those who will be acting on behalf of an elderly or incapacitated person should know, among other things, what kind of care they wish to receive and where they would like to live.  I often see relationships between adult children of clients fall apart because they have differing views of what is in “Mom’s best interest,” and Mom never made her wishes clear.  Designating decision-makers for financial and medical affairs in the event of incapacity should be a priority and great thought should be given to these nominations.  While it is certain that planning ahead cannot avoid every potential problem, such as cuts to government programs and elimination of much-needed community services (such as those offered at ADHC Centers), it can definitely minimize the frustration, struggle and confusion that often arise when someone becomes ill or incapacitated.


Sara Polinsky focuses her law practice on counseling families and individuals in the areas of Estate Planning and Elder Law, focusing on eligibility for Medi-Cal Long-Term Care benefits. She conducts several seminars and workshops for the general public throughout the Los Angeles area on topics such as “Living Trusts,” “Planning for Incapacity,” “Transferring Property for Long-Term Care,” and “Planning for Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Eligibility,” as well as in-services and trainings for case managers and social workers.  She is also the Co-Founder of Make A Senior Smile, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide resources, life enrichment opportunities, and  generate smiles for seniors.


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