NYS Legislature Proposes Increased Funding for At-Home Programs for Seniors
Every day, seniors and their caregivers reach out to their local offices for the aging and community agencies for information, assistance, and services. Now they have a better chance of receiving those services, thanks to the New York State Legislature. “This is wonderful news for the older adults of Cattaraugus County,” states Cathy Mackay, director of the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging/NY Connects.
The Senate and Assembly last week released their versions of the State’s 2014-2015 budget. Each one-house budget proposal includes additional funding - $5 million on the Senate side and $1 million on the Assembly side – for the Community Services for the Elderly (CSE) program. This program is a flexible funding stream that enables local offices for the aging and community-based agencies to address areas of greatest need within their communities.
The Association on Aging in NY, Council of Senior Centers and Services, Lifespan, and NYS Coalition for Aging applaud the Senate and Assembly for recognizing the value of the long-term supports and services, especially in light of the growing aging population. Every county but one in New York State experienced growth in their senior populations between 2000 and 2010, according to the US Census. The four groups joined together to request an additional $26 million in this year’s state budget for the CSE program in an effort to deplete waiting lists at local offices for the aging. The additional CSE funding is a good start toward investing in what is needed to help the 7,000 seniors currently on waiting lists for services across the state.
“As an aging network, we are truly grateful to the NYS Senate and Assembly for recognizing the growing needs we face at the local levels. The older adults in Cattaraugus County who have spent years making this community a good place to live deserve this support,” added Director Mackay.
“The additional CSE funds will address areas of greatest need at the local level, including in-home personal care, medical transportation, and nutritious meals. The Senate and Assembly acknowledged the value of these services in each of the one-house bills,” said Laura Cameron, Executive Director of the Association on Aging in New York. “The demand for services continues to escalate, fueled by a growing senior population. Enhancing these vital services will make it possible for more New York residents to remain in their homes and communities as they get older. That’s good for them – and it’s good for New York.”