SEIU Healthcare Illinois—representing more than 35,000 workers who provide home care to seniors and people with disabilities—launched an advertising campaign May 3rd educating lawmakers and the public about the high stakes of budget cuts to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Home Service Program.
“Cutting funding to the Home Services Program would be devastating to the more than 27,000 Illinois residents with disabilities who rely on home care aides to help with everyday tasks like getting dressed or cooking meals. The Home Services Program means so much to the people who use it – it means they can stay healthy and independent in their own homes,” said Ann Ford, Executive Director of the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living. “When people receive the care they need in their homes and communities, it saves the state millions of dollars each year compared to the cost of the same care received in expensive institutions. Cutting this program just doesn’t make sense.”
SEIU Healthcare’s radio ads launched this week and will be followed by online and print ads that feature the story of Chicago resident and writer Mike Ervin, who uses a wheelchair and has the assistance of a home care worker to help him with everyday tasks. Listen to the ad now.
“Our needs won’t go away just because politicians choose to pull funding. Cuts to the Home Service Program will only force more people to move to nursing homes,” says Ervin.
Institutionalized care, such as care in nursing homes, costs the state two to three times times more than comparable care in consumers’ homes and communities.
“Cutting cost-effective, money-saving programs like home care for people with disabilities and seniors is not only morally wrong—it’s a fiscally irresponsible approach to balancing the budget,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher.