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politics

State Senator Seeks More Money For Dutchess, Putnam Seniors

State Sen. Sue Serino represents Dutchess and Putnam counties.
State Sen. Sue Serino represents Dutchess and Putnam counties. Photo Credit: Sue Serino Facebook page

DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- The population is aging and there are increasing demands on New York's unpaid family caregivers, so State Sen. Sue Serino, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Aging along with aging advocates wants lawmakers to provide at least $15 million in extra aid to support family caregivers in the new budget, according to an announcement.

AARP, LiveOn NY and Lifespan and Greater Rochester Inc, along with Serino seek the additional funding in a final state budget for services that help middle class New Yorkers age safely at home.

Serino and the groups are calling for extra funding beyond the $3 million increase the Senate Majority proposed for non-Medicaid, in-home services for the elderly.

Additional funding would help eliminate waiting lists of about 10,000 New Yorkers 60 and older for programs such as home-delivered meals and transportation, said the announcement.

Serino is urging the increase for programs and services that serve New York residents whose incomes are too high to be eligible for Medicaid yet too low to afford such assistance out of their own pockets.

“Community services for the elderly play an invaluable role in ensuring that our seniors can age independently and with dignity, and they provide critical respite for the unpaid caregivers who dedicate countless hours working toward that same goal,” said Serino.

“With almost 10,000 New Yorkers on wait lists to receive these services, it is clear that there is a demand for (services) and that it works. It is critically important that we make funding these services a priority in this year’s budget.”

The number of New Yorkers 65 and older is expected to grow from one in seven in 2010 to nearly one in five by 2035.

Yet the 45- to 64-years-old caregivers population for each New Yorker 80 or older is expected to diminish from 6.6 in 2010 to 4.8 in 2030 and 3.5 in 2050, according to the release.

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