I4A Aging Network Alert 11-17-2015
Illinois Aging Network Alert
A weekly report on the impact of the State budget crisis on Illinois seniors and community programs from
I4A ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF AREA
AGENCIES ON AGING
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Contact: Joy Paeth (618) 222-2561 or Jon Lavin (708) 383-0258 Prepared by East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Inc.
Disastrous delays for Illinois Seniors linger due to absence of State budget
The absence of a State budget is distressing the pockets of our Seniors & Persons with disabilities, who do not have options.
What this means right now?
• Loss of meal programs
• Reduction of community based services
• Dignity compromised
• Premature admission into Nursing Home
• Future planning halted
Our older adults have worked their entire lives and paid their taxes. Funding their programs is valuing the contributions our prior generations have made.
Statewide – Illinois Information & Assistance/Senior Health Assistance Programs: 445,640 Illinois seniors who rely on Information & Assistance (I&A) and Senior Health Assistance Programs (SHAP) for senior services and benefits, including critical senior health assistance, are at risk. Illinois seniors rely on such programs to help them navigate through the myriad of drug plans and application requirements. For example, a client with significant health issues and limited income in DeWitt County was able to save over $4,000 a year in drug costs by working directly with PATH Senior Services SHAP staff in selecting the best Medicare Part D Plan for his needs. Because of the budget impasse – 40%, or 178,256 seniors - may not receive this kind of direct assistance which could cost vulnerable seniors thousands of dollars in drug and health costs, resulting in premature nursing home placement.
Statewide – Illinois Adult Protective Services: Due to the budget impasse, Early Intervention Services (EIS) used to avert further abuse and exploitation of older adults and adults with disabilities by Adult Protective Service agencies have been curtailed across the state. The lack of Early Intervention Services will increase the severity of abuse, neglect and exploitation to our most vulnerable adults.
Statewide – Illinois Adult Protective Services: Many of the Adult Protective Service agencies in Illinois will have to shut their doors by the end of December 2015 if state funding is not forthcoming as all funding for this program is derived from state general revenue.
Downstate Illinois- Adult Protective Services and Nursing Home Ombudsman Program: For example, the community agency that provides Adult Protective Services and Ombudsman Services, SWAN, will close as of January 1, 2015. The Ombudsman and APS services their agency provides will cease. This leaves the most vulnerable older adults and adults with disabilities who are being abused and or financially exploited with no services.
Downstate Illinois: Senior Centers will be closing as soon as funding is no longer forthcoming and some Senior Centers have resources to stay open for one month after funding is no longer available.
Western Illinois Region: All Home Delivered Meal community agencies have stopped accepting new referrals for service in this 10 county planning and service area.
The senior transportation provider in LaSalle County will be curtailing all Saturday senior transportation.
Statewide – Waiting lists exist for Home Delivered Meals due to inadequate funding.
BY the Percentages!
100% of Adult Protective Services dollars are NOT being paid
80% of Long Term Care Ombudsman dollars for Nursing Home Resident protection are NOT being paid
50% of Home and Community Based Service funds are NOT available
100% of Senior Health Assistance Program Services NOT available
All Area Agencies on Aging have some discretion on how funding is utilized so the above percentages may vary by region. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to find out the impact on your constituents!
This crisis must end! The Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging urges State government leaders to meet immediately, resolve their differences, enact a State Budget with sufficient revenues for FY 2016, and prevent the further loss of essential services and supports that enable older adults to live with dignity at home for as long as possible.