Photo Courtesy of AARP
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel
By Michael V. Cusenza
The New York chapter of AARP on Saturday gushed about Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the funding for seniors featured in the Fiscal Year 2018 Adopted City Budget.
“Mayor de Blasio and the City Council have hit a home run for the city’s growing senior population. AARP is grateful that our city leaders listened to the 50+,” said AARP NY State Director Beth Finkel. “The baselining of critical senior services and an expansion of funding for caregiver support and other programs that help New Yorkers age safely and with dignity in their own homes is exactly what our aging city needs.”
De Blasio and Mark-Viverito last Friday announced that they had reached an agreement on the 2018 budget.
According to Finkel, the city’s 65-and-over population is expected to increase 40 percent between 2010 and 2040, “and without the services the new city budget funds and expands both this year and into the future, too many older New Yorkers would be left with no choice but to enter nursing homes that cost taxpayers – and families – much more.”
Finkel went on to say that the City’s new spending plan “should serve as a model” for Albany.
“The inclusion of $6.5 million to end wait lists for homecare services, $1.2 million apiece for case management services and the weekend meal program, and $4 million for a new caregiver support program are all key to keeping families together and older New Yorkers where the vast majority of them want to age – in their own homes,” Finkel added. “Family caregivers represent the backbone of the City’s long-term care system, providing $13 billion annually in unpaid care to 425,000 loved ones. Caregivers need support, and this budget provides it.”