Article from National Adult Day Services Association newsletter, the Voice, April 2007.
Adult Day on Capitol Hill: One NADSA Member’s Story
Laura Philbrook, a supervisor at the Deikel Family AlterCare Adult Day Program and a board member of the Minnesota Adult Day Services Association, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for NADSA’s Public Policy Institute. At the institute, Laura had the opportunity for a brief meeting with Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) to talk about adult day and its value in the state. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:
What was the highlight of your discussion with Senator Coleman?
As busy as he was, he agreed to meet with us between votes. I’ve been told that this is something he has never done before. In the past, we had only met with his staff. Even in the busy Senate hallway, he appeared to listen and answered each of us.
What did he have to say about adult day services?
Since he only had a few minutes to spend with the 14 of us, his response was brief. He agreed that adult services were a very important part of long-term care, that it was important to be able to provide services that allowed individuals to remain at home as long as possible and at a lower cost to taxpayers.
What can policy makers like Senator Coleman do to help your organization and other ADS providers?
They need to look at the whole picture, learn about all options and fund and support those that provide the most to those we serve at a cost they can afford. And when they learn about ADS, they will know that our programs can do a lot for those individuals. I like to say “Adult Day Services: Best Bang for the Buck.”
Why should other NADSA members consider reaching out to their legislators?
It is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Many adult day providers do not have the time to travel to D.C., but all state elected officials have offices in our state capitals. Call and visit their offices. If more of us make those calls and visits, then those legislators will remember us and bring our message to the table. Most important, those that we serve will be heard.