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Letter: Nursing homes need legislative support

West Wind Village recently participated in Aging Services of Minnesota District Days at the Capitol. We would like to say thank you to Senator Torrey Westrom and Representative Jay McNamar for taking time during their busy schedule to meet with us to discuss the care giving crisis in Minnesota.

Years of chronic underfunding to nursing homes and assisted living establishments have been largely absorbed by the nearly 90,000 underpaid caregivers who care for Minnesota’s elderly. We believe Minnesota’s budget priorities must reflect the state’s changing demographics. Seniors will outnumber schoolchildren by 2020, and it will take more people to take care of them and their medically complex needs.

While seniors and their caregivers have been told by lawmakers from around the state that they are a priority this session, the current legislative proposals provide a modest increase not sufficient to address the long-term care funding crisis in our state.

During my meeting with Senator Torrey Westrom and Representative Jay McNamar, I asked them to support a 5 percent increase in each year of the biennium. This increase will lay a solid foundation for sustainable funding that ensures quality care and caregivers close to home.

I appreciated meeting with Senator Torrey Westrom and Representative Jay McNamar at the Capitol, and look forward to their support for increased funding this session.

Michael Syltie

Administrator, West Wind Village