Fitzpatrick: Direct Home Care Must Be Preserved For New Yorkers With Disabilities

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I,Ref-Smithtown) attended a forum today in Albany held by Assemblywoman Melissa “Missy” Miller (R,C,I-Atlantic Beach) on home care support for those with developmental and physical disabilities, as well as aging New Yorkers. Individuals who need such care are facing increasing difficulties in securing a home care worker.

“Our state must look closely at how our policies impact the availability and access to direct home care workers for New Yorkers with developmental and physical disabilities, as well as a growing aging population,” said Fitzpatrick. “We must make sure that pay is competitive, and professionalize the career of direct care providers, better known as home care providers. Right now, the process is difficult to navigate and is preventing individuals from receiving the care they deserve.”

Fitzpatrick and his Assembly Minority colleagues continue to advocate for competitive pay to attract the most skilled and best workers to the direct care sector. Individuals with developmental disabilities have unique and complex needs, often which require multiple types of care and assistance. In some instances, an individual may be receiving necessary aid from one state agency that may interfere with their securing of home care.

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), a program aimed at giving flexibility and choice in home care staff, is possibly at risk of cuts since it is funded by Medicaid. Fitzpatrick contends that while Medicaid is in need of trimming back to create savings, he does not feel that savings should be made at the expense of those with disabilities.