June 14, 2005
Albany- Clara Whitaker's health is a lot better than when she first moved in with her daughter.
"I mean I couldn't even walk then, but now I can walk without my walker," Whitaker said. "Most of the time I can walk without my cane."
But she's not a burden on her family because she's one of about 900 people in the area who have an in-home nurse through the Community Care Services Program, or CCSP.
"To clean their house, to help give them a bath, to run their errands," said Dana Pearson, the training coordinator for the local CCSP.
The state helps pick up the bill. The Community Care Services Program served 14,000 people in 2004 and saved taxpayers $248 million because in-home care is cheaper than nursing homes.
According to the CCSP, many people who are eligible for the in-home care program don't take advantage of it. Sometimes there is a cost for the program, depending on your Medicare coverage.
Most of the time, people don't want to go to a nursing home.
"You may have 100 patients for just a couple of nurses and you kind of just get lost by the wayside," Pearson said.
The families who decide to take their loved ones in need assistance with everyday issues.
"Because Caregiving is hard and a lot of people don't realize how hard it is," Pearson said.
"I had to accept life as it is and I knew I wasn't able to take care of myself," Whitaker said.
But with a little help, she stays healthy and at home.
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