08/09/13 — Budget cuts hurting elderly

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Budget cuts hurting elderly

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 9, 2013 1:46 PM

Ms. Arntsen said that the reductions had been expected by Ms. McAuliffe, who decided to take the money out of the transportation and in-home aide programs -- two areas where funds were available.

Services on Aging has money in the other areas, but the amounts are so small that decreases are not feasible, Ms. Arntsen said.

Services on Aging provides assistance to senior citizens to help them stay at home and out of assisted living and nursing homes by sending certified nursing assistants into their homes.

The assistants give baths, provide skin care, help senior citizens get dressed and to do household tasks such as vacuuming and dusting.

"Eryn's plan is to first lose through attrition. When a client leaves the program, for example, their needs are greater than in-home care can manage, and they go to a nursing home. Services on Aging would not take a new client," Ms. Arntsen said.

Hours, not clients, would be cut if additional reductions are required, she noted.

Services on Aging has a full-time social worker that will work with any senior affected by the reduction in hours. They will help them find other organizations, like churches, that could help fill the gap, Ms. Arntsen said.

Also, if someone is eligible for another service, Services on Aging doesn't take them into this program, she said.

As for transportation, Services on Aging schedules rides for senior citizens on the GATEWAY van service. No medical rides were cut. Instead, general rides to the grocery store and the Senior Center were.