Commentary: California's elderly should be treated better than this

Imagine you are an elderly person with Alzheimer's, recovering from a stroke or suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. You are grateful for access to a four-hour-a-day program at an adult center.

Then you get a letter from the state that begins in big, bold letters, "Notice of Change in Medical Necessity and Eligibility Criteria for the Authorization of Adult Day Health Care Services." That's pretty scary.

What does it mean? The letter explains: "The changes in the law are reflected in the Welfare & Institutions Code. On March 1, 2010 new laws will become operative reflected in sections 14522.4, 14525.1, 14526.2 and 14550.6 of the W&I Code. In addition, section 14525 will become inoperative and sections 14522.3, 14526.1 and 14550.5 in the W&I Code will become inoperative and will be repealed on March 1, 2010."

This is incomprehensible gobbledygook. This letter went out to more than 49,000 people -- though an estimated 8,000 to 16,000 will be affected by the changes.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.fresnobee.com.