Elderly, disabled not happy with care system - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Elderly, disabled not happy with care system

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Are the elderly and those with disabilities waiting too long for the care they need? That's the concern in Missouri right now.

In-home care providers used to evaluate potential clients, but since May of this year, a private company called Syncare is in charge of those evaluations.

Advocates for the elderly and disabled say this new system is not working, and is actually leaving people at risk.

The SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence, or SADI, representatives asked people who use and provide in-home care, to sign a petition, asking the state to stop using Syncare immediately.

People at the meeting say the company has put them on hold for hours, doesn't keep accurate information, and has stalled for months to assess the care needed.

Donna Skelton says her mom needs in-home care, but she is frustrated with the way this company handles the process.

She says they insist on talking to her mother, since she's the one that needs the care, but Skelton says that just doesn't work.

"She's taken care of everybody all her life, and now it's really hard to think of somebody taking care of her," said Skelton. "And so a lot of times when you ask her questions, it's I'm fine, everything's good, you know I can do this, I can do that, but in reality, that's not the truth."

"It's not working well for the consumers, we've had consumers die waiting for these services, and it's not working well for the providers because we're losing consumers so it's not beneficial to anybody at this time," said SADI Director of Personal Care Services Donna Thompson.

Thompson says when providers did the assessments, it took 4 to 6 weeks for the patient to get care, but now she says it takes two or three months.

Heartland News called Syncare for a comment, but waited on hold for half an hour and never actually spoke to anyone.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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