SCR Board member, Harriet Lancaster’s letter to the Naples Daily News encouraging support of funding for seniors was published in the March 2, 2017 editions. Below is her letter.
As a member of the Collier Senior Resources board and the Collier County Leadership Coalition on Aging, I recently attended a Regional Aging Advocacy Summit.The Florida Council on Aging and Gov. Rick Scott are proposing just under a $10 million increase in general revenue funding to serve 1,287 additional frail seniors in the state. That is just 10 percent of the most at-risk seniors on the Department of Elder Affairs waiting list for community care / home care for the elderly and Alzheimer’s respite care programs. These programs save taxpayers money by keeping our frail seniors in their homes which is so much less expensive than nursing home care.
Our local senior services program in the county government administers these funds for Collier County and has a long waiting list. I was surprised to find the average client receiving these services in the state are 75-year-old Caucasian females, so that could me be. However, these women are most often living alone with no at-home care provider. I am hoping that our state legislative delegation, including my state representative, Byron Donalds, as well as Rep. Bob Rommel, will support this modest increase, which will keep a number of frail seniors out of more expensive care and offer respite for families of Alzheimer’s patients.
I am very confident that Sen. Kathleen Passidomo will support this increase as she is a clear friend of senior services. Please encourage our delegation to support Scott’s request.
Harriet Lancaster, Naples