Lack of funds forces caregiver center to close
Another local caregiving center for elderly and disabled patients is closing its doors, a casualty of state budget cutbacks.
The Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center of Grass Valley, which opened 10 years ago, will shut down June 30.
“This is difficult for our community and for me,” said coalition leader Barbara Olsen, who will lose her referral service job along with fellow Del Oro family consultant Sara Heinzel.
“We need to stand up for each other,” Olsen told a crowd of 50 while detailing the plan. “When you cut off a finger, we all hurt.”
The loss comes in the aftermath of the Lutz Center adult day-care closure in December because of dipping MediCal reimbursement rates, as well as a rise in costs and licensing fees.
Del Oro will continue to provide telephone referrals for services from its Carmichael office after the shut down, said board member Esther Lara. The phone number is (916) 971-0893.
The center serves 13 north state counties, and Grass Valley had been the center’s sole satellite office, said board member Jean Clark.
“We are not happy about this,” Clark said in tears. “We are closing a satellite office, but that doesn’t mean we are closing our hearts.”
Many people said clients could not get the same services after Del Oro shuts down because of Larsen’s local contacts and institutional knowledge. Others saw it as an opportunity.
“The Lutz Center closed and that was despicable, but maybe the model didn’t work,” said Terry Boyer who recently started an in-home care service in Grass Valley.
The recent opening of the Helping Hands day-care center at the Seventh Day Adventist Church has helped fill a void, Clark said. Helping Hands is expected to handle more patients when the Health for All adult day-care in Auburn closes June 27.
Olsen and Heinzel would be the first to be hired when Del Oro openings occur, Clark said. But she said more cuts are on the way in this year and next for Del Oro and more jobs could be lost.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.
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