HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Several caregivers from across the State of Pennsylvania came together at the Capitol in downtown Harrisburg to call for lawmakers to fight for proper funding for long-term care facilities.

They say, without it, some potential residents could be turned away from nursing homes.

Healthcare advocates say the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the industry from workers leaving to the cost of supplies increasing, but also say funding from the 2022 State budget would be helpful.

“And we’ve got a very important question, and a simple question for our elected leaders in the State Capitol who will care?” Zach Shamberg President & CEO Pennsylvania.

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This was the question repeated throughout the Capitol as caregivers and nurses hold their signs asking for lawmakers to push for funding to protect those who can’t care for themselves.

“We in Pennsylvania have a choice, a choice to decide whether we’re going to take care of people who took care of us throughout our lifetime are going to get quality care or are we going to stuff them into some shed?” PA Rep. Stan Saylor (R) said.

Administrators say due to the pandemic supplies have skyrocketed.

Healthcare leaders say with proper funding those who need help can get even better care.

“At my facility alone, we care for 83% of the Medicaid population, and for every Medicaid patient we care for we are in the hole for about 45 dollars,” the Nursing home administrator of Spring Creek Rehabilitation Faruk Nguyen said.

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“We should be opening new avenues for care not closing our doors and turning away our most vulnerable. that can’t continue,” Shamberg said.
“If we don’t begin to invest now Pennsylvania will not be equipped to serve the aging population in our State,” PA Senator Judy Ward (R) said.

Healthcare providers say this could be anyone’s loved one who needs help and lawmakers should act, so the most vulnerable won’t get turned away.

“If this is not being done, then a lot of the elderly people in the state of Pennsylvania will have no one to care for, and a lot of nursing homes are going to turn away patients that have Medicaid because we are not able to care for them,” Nguyen said.

Funding those who work in these long-term care centers will have a chance to stay at their jobs making a better wage which also helps keep these facilities operating.

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