As secretary of the Anchorage Pioneer Home Resident Council, I am privileged to hear the concerns of many of our residents. On Aug. 2, we each received manila envelopes in the mail containing a letter and a new contract from the director of the Alaska Pioneer Homes, Clinton Lasley. The letter informed us that our rate increases would be going from three levels to five levels of service as of Sept. 1.
This means that the cost of monthly service per resident will increase from:
Level 1: $2,588 to $3,623
Level II: $4,692 to $6,569
Level III: $6,795 to $11,185
Level IV: $13,333
Level V: $15,000
As near as we can ascertain, services will remain the same as they are now for Levels I, II, and III. Some Level II will become Level III and some Level III will become Level IV, and their rates will go up.
Realistically, can anyone pay these amounts? These increases are ludicrous. There is assistance from the state available, but that still comes out of state of Alaska funds and leaves the residents no pride. Yes, pride is important. Lack of it is depressing and distressing. With the lower payments, many residents were able to pay and feel they were paying what they could. Now many more residents must ask for assistance, so the state is still paying.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking for more budget cuts for next year. Will Pioneer Home residents be hit as hard again? We are already seeing depression and irritability due to what has been happening this year. Must we feel this the rest of this year and next year?
Gov. Dunleavy’s bean counters want the Pioneer Homes to pay for themselves. Some of the buildings are old and need a lot of maintenance. Should this be part of our rate? The Anchorage Pioneer Home use to be a show place. The lobby is getting shabby now. Will our food be better? Will there be more activities as we’ve been promised?
We elders cry for our beloved state and what we have worked for during our lifetimes. The loss not only to the elders, but the loss of fund to the educational system (preschool through college) is shameful. How can the cost of all the extra legislative sessions be justified? Our governor and legislators need to take a long hard look at their consciences and souls.
— Carol Scott
Secretary, Anchorage Pioneer Home Resident Council
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