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OpinionLetters

Letter: Funding cut could hurt seniors at home

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Effective Sept. 1, funding to New York State’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program will be drastically reduced. This will make it more difficult for New York seniors to age at home [“Home care workers in demand,” News, July 29].

The program allows seniors and people with disabilities to hire trusted aides, including family, friends and neighbors. Some aides perform medical tasks that agencies are not allowed to do.

Pay, overtime and benefits for aides are handled by fiscal intermediaries. Budget cuts will force the vast majority of fiscal intermediaries to close. Senior residents who prefer to work with smaller, more compassionate intermediaries will be forced to transition to larger, more impersonal ones.

Funding for overtime for home aides and independent living training for residents — supports that are critical to enable seniors to remain in their homes — will be reduced or eliminated. As a result, some program participants will be at risk of institutionalization. This would contradict the 1999 Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which affirmed the right of individuals with disabilities to live in their communities.

I believe Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Department of Health have a responsibility to preserve the ability and right of senior citizens to age comfortably at home.

Andrew Heller,

Valley Stream

Editor’s note: The writer used the assistance program to keep an elderly parent at home. He also founded a Facebook support group called CDPAP Watch.

Letter shows why teaching is needed

A letter writer’s objection to a state proposal that would require schools to teach grade schoolers about hate symbolism, including nooses and swastikas, is exactly why such education is desperately needed [“Other ways to teach kids about nooses,” Letter, Aug. 15]. 

He states “growing up the swastika to me was only silly lines.” I wonder how our World War II veterans feel about that estimate. He says such information “should” be imparted at home or at prayer. But few things correct themselves because someone believes they just “should.”

In a culture in which adults remain quite this ignorant, it is incumbent on our centers of learning to make up the deficit — the earlier the better.

Jon Zipkin,

Bay Shore

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