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March 28, 2016Available files: mp3 wav jpg

Advocates Ask More Support for Seniors and Caregivers

New York, NY – As the state budget deadline approaches, advocates for seniors are urging lawmakers to add at least $15 million in additional funding to help low-income New Yorkers age safely at home. Comments from Bobbie Sackman, director of public policy for LiveOn New York; and Richard McGee, whose mother is on the waiting list for Community Services for the Elderly.

Intro: Low-income seniors need help to stay in their homes – that’s the message their advocates want lawmakers to hear as they finalize the state budget. They may be the most neglected seniors in New York, says Bobbie Sackman with LiveOn New York. They have too much income to be on Medicaid but not enough to pay for the support services they need. Sackman says there are 10-thousand older people across the state who are on waiting lists for a variety of services.

  :09  "For Meals on Wheels, for case management where a social worker comes into their home, for home care, for transportation, for adult day services. And the list goes on."

Tag:  LiveOn New York has joined with A-A-R-P and others in calling for an increase of at least $15-million dollars in state funding for Community Services for the Elderly.

Second Cut: Those services help not only the seniors, but family caregivers as well. Richard McGee’s 95-year-old mother, who has been approved for a home-health aide, has been on a C-S-E waiting list for three months.

  :10  "It makes it more and more difficult for me, because she’s more dependent on me every day. And so, I spend much of my time during the day over there, trying to help her with just her daily needs."

Tag:  In the past three years, the waiting lists for C-S-E services have increased by three-thousand seniors.

Third Cut: The percentage of New Yorkers over age 65 continues to grow, while the ratio of potential family caregivers is going down. Sackman calls access to affordable eldercare a 21st-century workforce issue.

  :12  "Just as we’ve talked for decades about the need for affordable child care, we need to look across the lifespan – and the other side of that equation is, how do you help these men and women stay in the workforce and balance their lives?"

Tag:  Sackman says the proposed 15-million-dollar increase in C-S-E funding has bipartisan support in the Legislature, but the Senate’s proposed budget would increase it by only three-million.

OPTIONAL REPORTER WRAP: uses first soundbite(s)
LEDE: Low-income seniors need help to stay in their homes – that’s the message their advocates want lawmakers to hear as they finalize the state budget. Andrea Sears reports.
 :37 Outcue...Andrea Sears reporting.

Note to Editors: Reach Sackman at 917-690-2805. More at