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a local church to see what I could find in Social Services in the county. When you're alone and you've just come through something like that, the last thing you want to do is go knock on doors. You're just not able to do it.
And to date, I'm still having problems with the system. I think they have given me presumptive benefits, which are going to be taken away on the 31st. I had open heart surgery on August 22nd. I'm still recuperating and as a result of the heart attack and such, I am now diabetic and have to be treated for that and also am left with the nerve damage to my left arm where they did the surgery.
I have no job, no money and no way to deal with what's coming. That's my case. That's what I have to say.
Mr. PALLONE. Thank you, Mr. Sperling. I think we'll have each of the panel members make a statement and then we'll have some questions.
So we'll go to Mr. Frank Vergano.
STATEMENT OF FRANK J. VERGANO, TOMS RIVER, NJ Mr. VERGANO. Good morning. Welcome to this little get-together to find out what we can do to see if we change some things around.
I have had trouble with the PAAD—the New Jersey program to help seniors with the high cost of prescription drugs. I had a stroke in April of 1986 and since then, I have taken six different medicines a day. Some of them I take two, three, four times a day. I lost my PAAD because my income went over the program limit of $16,000 in 1989.
During that time, my wife had to go out to work because the bills were piling up. Unfortunately, she lost her job in May of 1990, when the company shut down. Since then, she has been unable to find work.
By losing my PAAD card, I also lost my Lifeline, my credit towards my property taxes, which totalled $500. I also have to repay all my medicines from 1989 to the PAAD which I got for $2. My wife has now reached the age of 65, so she does not get any Social Security payments and no other money is coming in.
I'm having a hard time making ends meet. But then I realize there are other people that could be worse off than me.
So far this year, 1990, I have spent $1,500 on my medicines plus $500 I had to repay to PAAD and the State of New Jersey for a total of $2,000 for prescription drugs.
So I hope maybe something can be done to eliminate some of the burden on some of the senior citizens who are in the same boat that I am.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Vergano follows:)
Testimony of Frank J. Vergano
I was born in Brooklyn N.Y., June, 1922.
St. Catherine of Genoa Grammar school and Tildon High.
enlisted in the U.S. Navy October 1942 and received an
Honorable Discharge February, 1946, at the rank of 2nd class
I am married and have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
different medicines a day, some of them I take 2-3-4 times a day.
I lost my P.A.A.D. because my income went over $16,000 in 1989.
During that time my wife had to go out to work, because the bills
were piling up.
Unfortunately she lost her job in May, 1990
when her company shut down.
Since then she hasn't been able to
By losing my P.A.A.D. card I also lost my lifeline and my
credit towards my property taxes which totaled $500.00.
I also had
to repay all my medicine from 1989 to P.A.A.D.
These I got for
My wife has not reached the age of 65.
So she does not get
any Social Security payments and has no other money coming in.
Frank J. Vergano
I am having a hard time making ends meat.
But then I
realize there are other people that could be worse off than
So far this year, 1990, I have spent $1,500.00 on my
medicine plus $500.00 I had to repay P.A.A.D. and the state of
New Jersey for a total of $2,000.00.
Mr. PALLONE. Thank you, Mr. Vergano.
STATEMENT OF LINDA FURLONG, LAKEWOOD, NJ Ms. FURLONG. I'd like to thank you for allowing me to share my experiences. I care for my grandmother, she's 98 years old and she is totally bedridden and chair-ridden, she had a hip replacement when she was 96. Our major concerns are the expenses that aren't covered by Medicare such as hospital beds, and all the other things that are nonmedical that aren't paid for. So we have pretty much depleted all her money that she had saved. I have two teenage sons still living at home. I need to work. However, I can't go out to work because I cannot get anyone to care for her. At this time, my husband and my children and I haven't been out anywhere together as a family since her hip replacement. We take turns staying with her. It is rewarding to know that she is with loved ones, but it's very hard and I'd like to see if we could get some respite care in the home because she is frail and cannot be transported to a nursing home or to a day care center where she could be cared for. For someone at her age and with her senility, it would probably kill her if we went away, so I wouldn't even attempt to leave her unless it was in her own surroundings. And I guess that's all.
[The statement of Ms. Furlong follows:)
STATEMENT OF LINDA FURLONG
AT A HEARING OF THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND CONSUMER INTERESTS
"RISING OUT-OF-POCKET HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR OLDER AMERICANS :
HOW FAR CAN CONSUMERS STRETCH THEIR RESOURCES ?"
OCTOBER 29, 1990,
Thank you, Congressman Pallone, for allowing me the opportunity to share my experiences with home care for my ninetyeight year old grandmother.
I am the oldest of three grandchildren. My father, her son, resides in Florida. He is in poor health. My grandmother always told me that she never wanted to go in a nursing home. She is very special to me and I want to take care of her.
I had a very close relationship with my grandparents. They were very special people and most all of my happiest childhood memories are about the things we did together as a family.
My grandparents were both born in this area. He in Southard. She's a Herbert of Herbertsville. My grandfather was a postal employee, a hard worker right up to the day he had a stroke at age eighty-two. He also was a devoted husband who wanted us to care for his wife (as he had done) after he was gone. A few days before he passed away, I assured him that I would care for her. He was very relieved and able to let go.
My grandmother lived alone for ten years after his passing away. At age ninety-four, even with our weekly supervision, she nearly died of malnutrition. We brought her to live with us immediately in April of 1987. She recovered within a few weeks of being fed properly. She used my nine year old son's room until a room was added on our house for her. She adjusted quickly to living here.
In April of 1988 she became ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized for two weeks. In December of 1988 she fell and broke her hip. She had a hip replacement January 1989. Her recovery was good, but now she is in need of full time nursing care. She is unable to walk on her owli. She must be watched constantly so she doesn't fall again. She is incontinent and is