Call to Action for VA Assisted Living Resident
Larry “Curly” Haubner, a resident at Greenfield of Fredericksburg, turned 105 years old in June. But, like many seniors who live longer than they expected, he also outlived his savings and his income now falls short of the amount he needs to pay his bills. Larry’s case puts a real face on the Medicaid waiver issue in Virginia. Virginia is one of only nine states that failed to seek a Medicaid home and community based waiver from the federal government which would allow our state to use Medicaid funds for assisted living services for Medicaid-eligible seniors. As a result, impoverished seniors like Larry have only one option when they run out of money– a nursing home, whether or not they need fulltime nursing care. The Virginia Assisted Living Association has made a Medicaid assisted living waiver a priority in recent years. But our efforts have failed because of the opposition from the nursing home industry. Larry’s plight has generated publicity around the state and nation. This gives VALA a fresh opportunity to renew our case to Governor Tim Kaine and educate the public about the financial and social benefits of assisted living. Larry’s case will have a happy ending. Greenfield Assisted Living and other friends rallied to Larry’s assistance. Mark Ellmore, a banker from Alexandria whose 89 year old mother also lives at Greenfield of Fredericksburg, established a web site called www.savelarry.org with a PayPal connection for donations. The donations are rolling in from members of the public moved by Larry’s plight so Larry’s friends expect to raise enough money to keep Larry at Greenfield. We urge VALA members to contact the Governor and local legislators and urge them to move ahead and secure a Medicaid assisted living waiver so that the seniors who are not as lucky as Larry have the opportunity to remain in their homes regardless of their income.