ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the problems that have existed in New York’s nursing homes for years, including poor infection control. A new statewide advertising, public relations, and grassroots campaign has been launched to make sure that New Yorkers are aware that there are several options for independent living, rather than nursing homes and group settings.

“New Yorkers need to know that there are a variety of supports and services that can help them live at home. We’ve witnessed during the pandemic how dangerous nursing homes can be, and there is no reason people need to end up in a nursing home,” said Lindsay Miller, executive director of the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL).

The multi-media campaign will include a statewide digital ad buy centered around a theme of “Living at home, not in a home.” The campaign will also include an aggressive grassroots marketing strategy engaging NYAIL members, people with disabilities and their families from around the state. The total cost of the campaign is confidential but is substantial.

New York State shouldn’t be wasting money – especially in this extremely difficult budget year – to prop up failed nursing homes, congregate living settings, and other institutions where safety is an issue,” said Miller. “Now is the time to transform our long-term care system and phase out nursing homes as we know them today. Some of our public officials are saying that one of the lessons learned from COVID is that we need to put more resources into them.  That is a completely wrong conclusion – it would not make these settings safer, or more homelike, and it would take resources away from necessary investments into community-based options.”

Over the last 20 years, the work of New York’s Independent Living Centers to transition and divert people with disabilities from institutional placements and into their own homes has saved New York State more than $2.5 billion, according to the New York State Education Department ACCES-VR.

“We should be investing in choices that keep New Yorkers independent and safe; it’s the right thing to do,” said Miller. “These are scary times for all of us and we need to make better choices for the sake of our family members and neighbors.”

About NYAIL – The New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) is a statewide membership organization of Independent Living Centers (ILCs), community-based not-for-profit providers of advocacy, services and supports for New Yorkers with disabilities of all ages. ILCs are controlled by, and largely staffed by, people with disabilities. NYAIL strengthens local Independent Living Centers and is a leader in the civil rights movement for all people with disabilities.

SOURCE New York Association on Independent Living

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