I4A Alert for Week of 02-02-2016
Illinois Aging Network Alert
A weekly report on the impact of the state budget crisis on Illinois seniors and community programs on Aging, from I4A - Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Contact: Joy Paeth 618-222-2561 or Jon Lavin 708-383-0258
I4A Alert for Tuesday, February 2, 2016 (Prepared by the Area Agency on Aging of Lincolnland)
February marks the eighth month that the State of Illinois has had no budget and the fifth month that I4A has been chronicling the impact of that impasse.
As foretold in advocacy efforts last fall, agencies are crumbling as they are forced to lose staff through layoffs, and lose time for serving their clients, due to furlough days. Bottom line is that fewer clients are receiving services.
Agencies such as Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and Ashley’s Quality Home Care are buckling under the State’s continued lack of reimbursement for services. IMPACT CIL, the Center for Independent Living in Alton, and an active member of the ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Centers) in two planning and service areas, has announced that it will begin weekly furloughs, resulting in a 20% decrease of salary to its 18 employees and a similar decrease in the individual services provided to its consumers. IMPACT is currently owed over $100,000 by the State of Illinois.
And yet, the Governor’s State of the State address last week made no mention of Social Services.
A comparison of reports for the first quarters of FY 2015 and the same period for 2016 derived from a sampling of Area Agencies on Aging, indicates that, without General Revenue Funds, so far in 2016: 20% fewer Home Delivered Meals have been provided to 15% fewer people; 21% fewer rides have been provided to 10% fewer people; and 28% fewer units of Information and Assistance have been provided to 18% fewer people. Also affected are Congregate Meals, with 9% fewer people receiving 11% fewer meals. While Congregate Meals are not funded with General Revenue Funds, they are affected by site closings that were caused by lack of funding for Home Delivered Meals. Additionally, some Area Agencies transferred federal funds from Congregate to Home Delivered Meals to lessen the blow to the more vulnerable Home Delivered Meal clients.
Other necessary services, such as Outreach, Telephone Reassurance, Senior Health Assistance Programs, funding to Senior Centers and Options Counseling are also suffering during this impasse.
Mrs. Campbell -
Laverta Campbell is 84 years old and from East St. Louis. Laverta does not drive. A few years ago she was sad and quiet and never went out of her home. Someone suggested going to the Senior Center. The Clyde C. Jordan Senior Center’s bus came and picked her up. It was a great day for her and she began to go to the senior center regularly. Today she is volunteering, taking computer classes and continues to meet with her friends at the senior center. Without that simple trip, Laverta was well on her way to living in a deep depression. Laverta’s story is just one example of the important role that Transportation service plays in the lives of older adults.
The Clyde C. Jordon Senior Center is funded by the Federal Older Americans Act and State of Illinois GRF, but is no longer receiving funds for the transportation service. The Federal funds have been exhausted and there are no State funds due to the budget impasse.