Funding Supports Seniors to Remain Independent; Reduces Reliance on Medicaid
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $50 million has been awarded to the state’s 59 county-based Area Agencies on Aging to help New York’s seniors remain in their homes and communities of choice. The funding, which is made available through the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, will help maximize independence and prevent advanced and more expensive levels of care for seniors – the cost of which is often shouldered by Medicaid.
“This funding will help more New York seniors stay in their homes, and live with independence and dignity,” Governor Cuomo said. “By partnering with local governments statewide, we will provide services to support these efforts and help improve the overall quality of life for seniors in every corner of the state.”
The in-home services program is a case-managed community-based long-term care initiative designed to serve functionally impaired older people who are lower income but not yet Medicaid eligible, and who need assistance to remain safely in the community with an acceptable quality of life. The program is a partnership between the state and the counties; the $50.1 million state commitment will generate an additional $16 million in funding from the counties, plus an additional $1.8 million in direct contributions from program participants.
Nearly 70,000 New York seniors will benefit from the program:
- Capital Region: $4,062,374
- Central NY: $2,823,485
- Finger Lakes: $4,717,963
- Long Island: $9,779,588
- Mid-Hudson: $7,824,940
- Mohawk Valley: $2,169,488
- New York City: $24,210,751
- North County: $2,166,246
- Southern Tier: $2,764,112
- Western NY: $5,570,365
The complete list of awards by county is available on the New York State Office for the Aging website.
The program provides non-medical services and supports for seniors who need help with basic daily activities, or require assistance with shopping, cooking, or paying bills. All enrollees receive care coordination, and when appropriate, could also receive additional supports, including support for caregivers, which are intended to help older adults remain safely in the community.
To be eligible for the program, individuals must be at least 60 years old, cannot be eligible to receive similar services under other government programs, such as Medicaid, and are able to reside safely in the community. The program does not require that there be medical need as documented by a physician statement or include income or resources as eligibility criteria, except that a client cannot be on or eligible for Medicaid.
Chair of Senate Standing Committee on Aging, Senator Sue Serino said, "Our localities directly benefit when our seniors are empowered to age in place, at home in the communities that they have spent their lives building. With a senior population that is only growing, we have an express responsibility to help older New Yorkers maintain their independence and prevent costly premature nursing home placement. Investing in this critical program will help counties across the state make that a reality by providing invaluable support to their aging community members and their families."
Chair of the New York State Assembly Aging Committee, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz said, “There are more than 3.7 million older adults living in New York State, and the population is growing. This initiative provides the type of support services that many of us take for granted. Most older adults do not need the level of skilled care provided in institutional settings such as nursing homes. The program prevents premature nursing home placement and helps older New Yorkers maintain their independence.”
Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership in prioritizing the program. The program enables tens of thousands of older New Yorkers to maintain their independence by providing critical services in their homes. This program saves the state money by reducing reliance on Medicaid, supports the millions of spouses and families who provide daily support to their loved ones and delivers cost-effective services where older New Yorker’s want it, in their homes and communities.”
President and CEO of Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc., Ann Marie Cook said, “We know older adults want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. This initiative provides support in the home that helps older individuals maintain their independence, stay at home and be active participants in their communities. Lifespan is proud to stand with Governor Cuomo in support of this important program.”
President of the Association on Aging New York and Director of the Oneida County Office for the Aging, Michael Romano said, “This program is a great example of a public private partnership that leverages state and local resources, along with participant contributions to meet one of the most important desires of older adults and their families – to maintain their independence in their own homes and communities. We thank Governor Cuomo’s leadership that will help thousands of families and it is another shining example of what New York does well.”
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