Aging Chairs call on state leaders to ‘Step Up for Seniors’

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Request Additional Budget Funding for Senior Services

(ALBANY, NY)—Joined by aging advocates representing thousands of seniors from across New York State and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers from both the Senate and the Assembly, Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D—Binghamton) came together Tuesday to call on legislative leaders to make New York’s seniors a priority in this year’s state budget.

“The growing population of older New Yorkers should get everyone’s attention,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “We need to ensure that adequate services are in place for those who want to remain in their homes for as long as possible; providing critical services for those in need. We also need to acknowledge that seniors want to stay actively engaged in their communities for as long as possible. Aging services and programs need to be prioritized in this year’s budget.”

“The numbers don’t lie. We are on the brink of an unprecedented ‘age wave’ here in New York,” said Senator Serino. “If we continue to turn a blind eye and underfund the resources that play a critical role in helping our seniors to age in place—at home in our communities—make no mistake, we will pay a hefty price down the line. Making the growing population of seniors a priority in this year’s budget is good for our families, it’s good for our economy and it will play a critical role in keeping our state ahead of the curve for generations.”

In New York, the aging population has experienced a steady annual increase while other groups, like those under 18, have declined—making it home to the third largest senior population in the country. However, while the aging population grows, in this year’s proposed Executive Budget, the State Office for the Aging (SOFA) is facing the most drastic cut of any agency, with its budget being lowered by almost 5%.

Along with advocating against SOFA’s budget decrease, Lupardo and Serino called for strong investments in Community Services for the Elderly – programs that provide critical services like meal delivery, transportation, and in-home care that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of local communities, programs that help prevent elder abuse, and a commitment to ensure funding relied on by providers in New York is not diverted.