Dianna Massey of Norcross says respite care greatly helped her family when her mother had Alzheimer’s disease.
For years, “she was aggressive and combative,’’ Massey said. Before her mother died four years ago, her father was able to afford respite care – short-term help so the caregiver can have time off.
Concerned about those who cannot afford such care, Massey came to the state Capitol in Atlanta to talk about the importance of help for families who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
She joined lawmakers and other officials who spoke to scores of seniors gathered in a cold rain on the Capitol steps, attending a rally against proposed budget cuts in government aging programs.
The cuts in the state Department of Human Services budget include a $2.6 million reduction for community care services in the current fiscal year.
For fiscal 2014, which will begin in July, $484,559 is being cut from Alzheimer’s disease services and respite care. Another $528,871 is being trimmed from Adult Protective Services, which will lead to the elimination of 17 jobs that serve more than 1,700 seniors.
“The few dollars for respite in the budget are critical,’’ Massey told the crowd. “We have to take care of the caregivers.’’ full story