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Epping selectmen to address closure of adult day care

Union Leader Correspondent

January 26. 2014 7:19PM

EPPING — Selectmen plan to send a letter to Rockingham County commissioners expressing their concerns over closure of the county’s adult day care program in December.

State Rep. Jeffrey Harris, R-Epping, urged selectmen to take action even though the program has ended and the seniors who participated have been forced to look elsewhere for care.

“It’s a shame,” Harris said of the program’s loss at a meeting with selectmen last week.

In November, Commissioners Kevin Coyle of Derry and Katharin Pratt of Hampton voted to end the Adult Medical Day Program at the Rockingham County Nursing Home due to financial losses and low enrollment.

Commissioner Tom Tombarello of Sandown voted against the closure.

State representatives serving on the county delegation’s executive committee urged commissioners to reverse their decision, but the commissioners allowed the program to end Dec. 31.

The 33-year program provided a place for seniors and other adults to spend a portion of their days. It offered social support, recreational activities, exercise, nursing supervision, therapy and other services.

Harris said the program benefited not only the seniors, but the families caring for their loved ones at home who need a break.

Selectman Robert Jordan said he agreed that the program provided a needed service.Selectman Tom Gauthier, board chairman, said that while two commissioners were concerned about the program’s financial loss, there’s a possibility that some of those who participated may now end up in the nursing home receiving more costly long-term care.The nursing home “costs the state a heck of a lot more money,” Gauthier said.

Harris also encouraged residents to voice their opinions to the commissioners.

Gauthier voted with selectmen to send the letter, but wasn’t optimistic that it would help.

“To me, it seems like it would be pretty futile to do anything now because they’ve closed it. I don’t think you’ll ever see it come back,” he said.

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