2012 Budget Battle: Increasing Home and Community-Based Services
End the waiting! Investing for a better tomorrow—at home.
It's no surprise that Kentucky's population is aging: 13.3% of the state's total population is now 65 and over. But what is surprising is that almost 19,000 Kentuckians are on waiting lists for services from the Department of Aging and Independent Living, including nearly 6,500 waiting for home-delivered meals and 3,200 in need of homemaker services.
And waiting lists for basic in-home services and senior meals continue to grow in a tough economy.
AARP expects funding for senior services will again be on the table as lawmakers debate the state's next two-year budget. The game plan is to not play defense. Instead, AARP is actively building awareness and has launched a Citizens' Paper Plate Campaign to deliver the message to Frankfort. The campaign seeks to increase senior services funding and to fuel a grassroots push for these services in 2012.
State budget fights usually leave the most vulnerable citizens without a voice. For too many years, home and community based services have gone underfunded or have been cut. AARP Kentucky with citizen grassroots supporters is working to change this before the General Assembly convenes in January 2012. AARP's top priority in the 2012 General Assembly is to secure an increase in long-overdue state funding for senior meals and home and community based services. These vital and cost-effective services help Kentuckians live independently and stay in their own homes longer.
79% of AARP Kentucky members surveyed said staying in their own homes for as long as possible is their top priority. AARP knows that increasing the state's capacity for affordable home and community based services increases consumers' choices, improves quality of life for aging citizens and saves taxpayers dollars. It's proven that in-home services and supports are more cost-effective than institutional care in skilled care facilities and decrease the state's Medicaid costs.
Decision makers in Frankfort will need to hear from their constituents, and AARP Kentucky needs your help. Lawmakers need to know that senior meals and basic in-home services are a priority and not bargaining chips in the budget fight.
Adding your voice will help. AARP urges you to let your state lawmakers know this is important to you. Call or write and ask them to increase funding for aging services and senior meals to "end the wait" to meet the state's growing need in the 2012 budget.
Connect with AARP Kentucky to take action as a citizen activist by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AARP online or on Facebook.
Governor Steve Beshear
Legislative Message Line
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En Español: 1-866-840-6574
General Assembly online
AARP Kentucky online