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LORI DOVE

CEDAR FALLS --- If you or your loved one is living in a nursing home, you may be familiar with Medicaid's personal needs allowance (PNA). When a single person enters a care facility, they must self-pay for their care until their resources are depleted. At that time, they "go on the state." Except for $50, all further income (Social Security, etc.) is given to the nursing home for expenses.

I feel strongly that $50 is not enough. That meager amount must cover additional food/snacks, clothing, personal care needs not provided, haircuts, entertainment, and most of any incontinence supplies. Would that be enough for you? After working all their lives, raising children, maintaining homes, and paying taxes, is this how we should treat them? Of course not.

Our older loved ones deserve to live with dignity. I am writing to Sen. Charles Grassley and requesting that he propose a bill to raise that amount to $100. If you agree with me, I encourage you to contact him as well. Let him know that you care about this issue. Think of the personal needs allowance the next time you are shopping for your own necessities. Help me speak up for our elderly.

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