FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Ray Santos, 617-429-2774 or rsantos (at) ethocare.org
ELDER ADVOCATES PRAISE GOV. BAKER’S 2019 BUDGET
SHARP INCREASES IN FUNDING WILL ENABLE MORE SENIORS TO RECEIVE HOME AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES
STATEWIDE— Elder Advocates throughout Massachusetts are giving Governor Charlie Baker’s newly released budget for fiscal year 2019, an A+ grade for the most significant increases in funding for home and community based services they have seen in 25 years.
Under Baker’s proposal, spending for home and community based services, elder abuse investigation and Councils on Aging would see a $17.4 million increase over projected spending for FY 2018.
The Governor’s budget includes increases to several programs that serve the Commonwealth’s most frail and at-risk elders including an additional $7.4 million for home care case management. That represents a 12.4 % increase in spending to make services available to more elders. Also included in the spending plan is an additional $4.7 million for the Choices program, which assists seniors that require nursing home level of care but wish to receive services in the community; and $2.7 million for the Elder Protective Services program, which investigates cases of fraud and abuse.
“We are pleased that the Governor supports seniors residing in the Commonwealth and that he has provided funding to ensure they are able to remain in their communities with services needed to keep them safe and well for as long as possible,” said Paula Shiner, president of the Mass Home Care Association and chief executive officer of Coastline Elderly Services, the Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) representing the New Bedford region. “This is indeed the major breakthrough in funding that has been long overdue for many years.”
The budget proposal also includes a significant increase in the grant funding formula for the state’s Councils on Aging, bringing the per-senior rate to $12.00.
“While we anticipate that over the course of the next few days, more information will become known about imbedded policy goals, upon initial review ASAPs can expect to be able to increase the number of elders they serve while decreasing home care caseloads, resulting in higher quality care for the state’s more frail and isolated seniors,” said Shiner.
About Mass Home Care
Mass Home Care is the lead advocacy organization for the Aging Services Access Points in Massachusetts. Its 30 member agencies provide home and community based care for the elderly and disabled throughout every part of the state. For more information, or to see a list of member organizations, please visit www.masshomecare.info.
House 2 – FY2019 Budget Recommendation
Line Item Summary for Elder Services
|9110-1604||Supportive Senior Housing Program||$5,707,061||$5,910,893||3.6%|
|9110-1630||Home Care Services||$173,749,706||$175,019,124||0.7%|
|9110-1633||Home Care Case Management and Admin||$52,793,795||$58,948,934||Increased funding to support projected costs.||11.7%|
|9110-1700||Elder Homeless Placement||$186,000||$186,000||0.0%|
|9110-1900||Nutrition Services Programs||$7,268,675||$7,268,675||0.0%|
|9110-9002||Grants to Councils On Aging||$14,242,900||$16,515,125||Increased funding to support increasing the elder formula grant to $12/elder.||16.0%|