[by Jerry Fleischer]
On Thursday, March 1, a group of senior adults from the Jewish Community Center headed to the Capital Building in Frankfort to make their voices heard. Their goal was to “step up to the plate” in confronting the budget cuts which no doubt will involve the aging population of Kentucky.
The legislators claim that there is not enough money to go around. It comes down to where no organization wants to have their funding decreased.
Unfortunately, our state has 19,000 seniors on a waiting list for services from the Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). This means that here in Kentucky we have 9,000 seniors going hungry. Another 3,200 seniors are waiting for homemaker services. This invaluable service can help keep the elderly out of expensive nursing homes.
When our entourage arrived, we gathered together in the Rotunda. We connected with Cathy Murphy from AARP and went to meet with Rep. Tom Burch, chairman of the House Health & Welfare Committee. Rep. Burch agreed with our views and said the best way to defeat the budget cuts was for the seniors to call their state representatives asking them not to decrease funding for the aged.
Later, we sat in on a session of the House Health & Welfare Committee.
By DAIL funding 22 different programs that assist our senior citizens, it becomes a godsend for our elderly Kentuckians. Those programs in jeopardy range from homecare for those 60+ and care giver support, to senior nutrition programs, including Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care programs and Elderly Abuse Prevention.
The JCC Senior Adult group urges members of the community to call Frankfort at (800) 372-7181 and ask your sate representative to help our aging citizens and those with disabilities.