Dear Fellow Family Members,
Hope you and your loved ones are doing as well as possible in these disruptive, trying and very uncertain times. The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken the challenges of direct care, already great, and grown them exponentially.
We are blessed and fortunate that Progressive has strong leadership in place and the team is doing all they can. They have been as proactive as possible in this environment, in decision making, working with government and healthcare agencies, and having needed resources in place.
Regrettably, we are still at the front end of this challenge. Everyone needs to help in whatever way they can, even if sometimes that means staying home and staying out of the way of the experts and specialists.
There are, however, a number of specific ways we as family members can help Jennifer and the Progressive Lifestyles team.
• Financial support: While Progressive is in better shape than most, maintaining reserves to address urgent issues and cashflow disruptions is always important. As mentioned before, this crisis will drive overtime up along with the possible need for special pay incentives. If friends and family are looking for ways to help, sending money to Progressive is the best way to make an impact.
• Supplies: Again, Progressive management was proactive in getting needed supplies in place, but we can definitely assist if we have a way to procure to masks, disinfecting wipes, paper products… they will be greatly appreciated.
• Advocate: Editorial comment here, this is a human crisis not an economic crisis. Stimulus and support actions will be necessary, but getting funding into the direct care system immediately is more important than impact on the Cruise lines. Our representatives need to be aware of the needs of a vulnerable community that often is not heard. The ARC has communicated a very good list of key issues (Thanks Rosemary and Parent Alliance for communicating) that need to be kept in front of lawmakers. Specifically:
• Additional funding to create a Medicaid grant program to support access to home and community-based services (to combat institutionalization) and to support the DSP workforce.
• A permanent reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. MFP funds states to move people with disabilities and seniors back into the community, after time in a nursing home or hospital setting.
• Inclusive economic stimulus and raising asset limits. Congress should ensure that any economic stimulus goes to people with disabilities, including those receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid who are subject to strict asset limits which should be raised to ensure that this stimulus does not put crucial benefits at risk.
• Paid leave for caregivers for people with disabilities. In the last bill, Congress covered sick days for many workers but did not include caregivers for people with disabilities who have lost or will lose usual sources of care.
• No limitations on civil rights protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Affordable Care Act can be included in the legislation.
Thanks and good health.
Craig R. Brown
Chairman of the Board
Progressive Lifestyles, Inc.