Georgia Council on Aging Applauds
Governor’s Proposed Budget
In-Home Care Provides Critical Help for Georgia’s Seniors
Atlanta, GA (January 11, 2017) – Governor Deal’s 2017 state budget proposal announced today includes $4.2 million in new funding for a program critical to Georgia’s 1.3 million seniors. The program – Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) – reflects the budget recommendation made in the Fall of 2016 by Georgia’s Department of Human Services. Seniors from across Georgia voted this program as a top priority for CO-AGE (the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly). In addition, the Governor earmarked $750,000 in additional funding for meals to fight senior hunger.
“We applaud the Governor for listening to our seniors.” says Vicki V. Johnson, Chair of the Georgia Council on Aging. “This age group continues to grow dynamically in Georgia; in fact, we have the 11th fastest growing senior population in the nation. Our waiting lists are long; thousands of our seniors and their caregivers need these services.”
The HCBS funding covers home modifications and a myriad of other services, including home-delivered meals, adult day care, respite care, and more.
At this point, over 9,000 Georgia seniors are on waiting lists for in-home services that would allow them to stay home with support and save significant taxpayer dollars. Sixty-six year old Michael in Augusta, Georgia is a great example of how the HCBS funding benefits seniors locally. Michael has Parkinson’s Disease, and the new grab bars in the shower – funded through HCBS to the local Operation Independence – help make his life safer and more comfortable. He first noticed a problem when he started having trouble with his legs; he felt weak and unbalanced as a result, a very new feeling for him. He regrets having to give up his favorite pastime of fishing and other activities, but he’s grateful for the home modification help he received that keeps him from worrying about falling and getting hurt.