Joint Finance Committee Public Hearing Testimony – Heidi Randall

Heidi Randall Testified at the Joint Finance Committee Public Hearing in Reedsburg last Thursday. The Following is her testimony:

My testimony today is both a matter of personal and professional reaction to the proposed changes to Family Care, IRIS and ADRC structures.
It’s been proven that the existence of all three parts of the system have made a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable adults- the aged, developmentally and physically disabled persons, and youth in transition. Wisconsin has led the way in helping our special citizens remain in their homes, where they want to be! I believe that those who are currently able bodied citizens need to speak for those who are not. None of us know when that status can suddenly change for us.
Having an ADRC available at the local level, staffed by people trained to give unbiased, complete, and helpful information, is paramount to making wise decisions for future care. Being able to talk to someone face to face, with a person who cares about you and your family’s ability to conserve your resources, and delay the use of taxpayer dollars to provide for your needs, is the core of what an ADRC can offer. Losing this personal connection with your local ADRC by privatizing this service is just plain wrong!!! Wrong for our citizens, wrong for the economy, wrong for the state to even consider.
ADRC’s are the gateway to long term care services such as IRIS and Family Care. As guardian of my older brother with developmental disabilities served by the Family Care program, and as a 30 plus year employee in the field of Human Services and Long Term Care Programs, I can attest to the difference these programs have made in the lives of our citizens. I have seen the changes that have occurred to the system over the years, and how my brother has personally benefitted from the community based services made available to him.
At age 60 he was able to get his first apartment after my parents had passed away, and Family Care services were put in place for his transition. For him, at age 60, he had finally “arrived” into adult life. After learning more daily living skills at a CBRF he was able to move on to the first home of his own. He couldn’t wait until the day that he could read his name in the phone book. Seeing his name in print meant that he was somebody.
Please help others, like my brother Steve, find their own dreams of being somebody, through keeping ADRC’s the one stop shop they were designed to be, governed by a local board, that cares about their very own.
Thank you.
Heidi Randall, Guardian of brother with Developmental Disabilities
Director of Aging Programs, Juneau County and ADRC of Eagle Country-Mauston Office

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