Funding for Senior Programs Remains Flat in 2019 Budget Proposal

Funding for Senior Programs Remains Flat in 2019 Budget Proposal

Georgia Council on Aging Will Push for Enhanced Support

Atlanta, GA (January 11, 2018) – Governor Deal released his Amended 2018 and his 2019 budget proposals today which include existing funding for services and programs for Georgia’s older adults. While these funds will help Georgia’s senior population, they fall short of what would be required to meet the needs of the growing numbers of older adults who want to remain at home.

“We are disappointed that the budget proposal does not include additional funding for older adults,” said Vicki Johnson, chair of the Georgia Council on Aging. “The members of the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) had extensive discussions last summer and voted on a list of priorities for the 2018 session. CO-AGE members developed their priorities based on their knowledge of the unmet needs throughout the state. We will work with committees in the Georgia House and Senate to try to get additional funding included in the final budget.”

By 2040 one Georgian in five will be age 60 or older. This explosive growth has strained existing systems designed to help keep seniors in their homes. Right now, there is a waiting list of more than 12,000 individuals who have need services. Without additional funds, that list will only get longer, and more people will have to go into nursing homes, where their care will be much more expensive.

CO-AGE priorities for 2018 include $10 million for in-home services, $4 million for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), a registry of those individuals with a record of elder abuse, stricter regulation of personal care home and more options for assisted living for low-income seniors.

Funding for ADRC is particularly important. These centers provide information and referral services to older adults and persons with disabilities to help them navigate complex public and private programs to get the help they need. The increase in the older population and the end of two federal grants have created a crisis in funding for the ADRC. From FY 2016 to FY 2017 the ADRC funding decreased by 9 percent. Funding of $4 million would strengthen the ADRC statewide network by adding capacity to meet the growing demand for crucial information.