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  • Writer's pictureLinda A Curtis, LMSW

What is Olmstead?

Have you ever heard of "Olmstead"? It is only one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in the past 25 years!

Twenty-three years ago today, we celebrated one of the disability community’s most significant civil rights victories. On June 22, 1999, the landmark Supreme Court decision in Olmstead vs L.C. held that people of all ages with disabilities have the right to live and receive support in the community under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Today this law is crucially important to our senior citizens who are in nursing homes or at risk for placement in nursing homes. Unfortunately in New York State draconian changes to the the Community Medicaid programs plus many other factors (such as a home health aide shortage....) have led to this very upsetting fact: many families are considering placing their beloved elderly family member into nursing homes. The reason is simple- New York State makes the process so unbelievably complicated and so complex it is impossible to obtain community services. More and more frequently this results in a nursing home being the only option the family has. It is not fair, not ethical, not humane, not compassionate and not legal.

Our seniors have a right to remain in their homes, in their communities as they age. This health care system however is set up to prevent many middle to low income seniors from remaining in their homes.

This is an absolute disgrace in the wealthiest county in the world.

To learn more and to find advocacy tools and help go to:

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