Bibiana Viernes: Her Center, Her Life

Bibiana Viernes is 85-years-old and legally blind. She attends the Silver Lake Adult Day Health Care Center five days a week.

"It is doing a lot of good for us, improving our health and prolonging our life," she said. "I think the thing we can only do is pray God. And I know God will not leave us."

The state’s elimination of the Medi-Cal ADHC benefit – slated for Dec. 1 – could endanger some of California’s frailest individuals, people who suffer from multiple disabilities including dementia, incontinence, paralysis and traumatic brain injury. As the centers are forced to close, advocates say, many will be left home alone and at high risk of landing in emergency rooms and nursing homes.

Los Angeles County – especially its many ethnic minority communities –will be hit hardest by the closures. According to state data, the county is home to more than 60 percent of the program’s 38,000 enrollees statewide.

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