Federal Sequester Leads To Cuts At Arizona Programs For Aging

July 21, 2014

Some state programs for elderly Arizonans are announcing cuts in services because of reduced federal funding. It’s part of Congress’ sequestration effort and means fewer seniors can sign up for in-home care and home-delivered hot meals.

Congress has cut grant funding for eight Arizona Area Agencies on Aging by almost $2 million. The cuts took effect with the new fiscal year on July first.  Melanie Starns is DES assistant director of Aging and Adult Services.  She said the cuts mean a lot of older people who depend on the government subsidies will have to make some life changing decisions.

"They could stay in their home for two or three more years on their own with a little more support and at a very lower cost,  maybe $2,200 a year for the state.  But, instead they might have to go to a nursing home because there are no community supports available and that nursing home is going to cost $50 to $60,000 a year” Starns said.

Starns said the Area Agencies on Aging serve more than 300,000 people statewide and 15,000 of those seniors depend on home-care.