Handcuffed, Senior Activists Rally To Demand Freedom From Nursing
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 9, 2006
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND--A group of demonstrators gathered Thursday at the rotunda of the State House Thursday demanding that lawmakers shift the bias within the state's long-term care system that spends 90 cents of each dollar on nursing homes.
One of the protesters, Irene Santos, reportedly told the crowd: "I'm not a child. I don't want anybody to treat me as a child. I want to be able to choose."
Santos is the president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Gray Panthers.
According to the Providence Journal, the group of activists was made up of seniors who assembled in the capitol building wearing handcuffs.
They rallied to encourage legislators to approve a measure that would capture any unspent money from the state's nursing home budget and use it for in-home and community supports instead of having it return to the general fund. The bill would cost the state nothing, they pointed out.
"There are people in nursing homes right now who are completely able to live in the community, and would rather be in the community," said Jessica Buhler, a lobbyist for the Senior Agenda Consortium. "It's sad but true that the culture is 'Stick old people in a nursing home.'"
"Elders demand more money for home-based care" (Providence Journal)