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Lawmakers, advocates push for expansion of a program for elderly and disabled

Family Care is currently available in 57 of state's 72 counties
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - A local lawmaker is pushing a bipartisan plan to expand resources for the aging and disabled.

Family Care is a state-funded system that provides services to the elderly and disabled, which allow them to live independently. It's currently only available in 57 of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

Legislation introduced by State Senator Rob Cowles, of Allouez, is asking for an expansion of the program into seven northeast Wisconsin counties. They are Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Shawano, Oconto, Menomonee and Marinette.

"It's support services they need," explained Tom Diedrick, Executive Director of Options For Independent Living. "It might only be two or three hours a day of care but that is enough to keep those individuals in our community."

"Nursing home costs are staggering," said Sen. Cowles. "You want to avoid that for as long as possible and the study done by the administration indicates that it saves money. So let's do it."

According to a study by the Department of Health Services, expanding the system would save the state more than $30 million over the next 10 years.

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