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Hoosier Legislators Hear Rally Cry for Living Independently

Image available: Graphic provided by AARP Indiana
Image available: Graphic provided by AARP Indiana
March 27, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - Braving this week's snow, people with disabilities and seniors wanting to remain independent in their own homes rallied at the Statehouse.

In recent months, Indiana's Division of Aging has been working diligently to get more people off wait lists for home and community-based services. Those attending the "Rally for Independence" chanted "We say yes to HCBS!"

"In-home services are cheaper financially than putting somebody in a nursing home," said Teri Whitaker of Indianapolis, who has a form of muscular dystrophy and works fulltime yet needs help bathing, dressing and preparing meals. "Not only does it allow people freedom to live their life, but it makes sense financially for the state."

Keith Storme, executive director of Lifespan Resources, an Area Agency on Aging, transported folks from southern Indiana for the rally.

"I haven't talked to one client yet who said, 'I want to go into a nursing home.' It's always wanting to stay in their own home, their own neighborhood, their own communities," Storme said.

June Lyle, AARP Indiana state director, said that organization sponsored the rally to bring a human message to legislators.

"We wanted to make sure our state legislators remember the importance of these programs when they are finalizing the budget they are working on in the next month to month and a half," she said.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN