Denying meals to the elderly

 

The devastating impact of the sequestration on older Americans is becoming more apparent each day.

The loss of more than $1 million in Older Americans Act funding in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties reduces the ability of lower-income older people to receive a nutritious meal each day.

This means that 818 elders will lose meals at congregate meal sites such as the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers, Miami-Dade and Monroe County-administered centers, Catholic Charities, Jewish Community Services and others. In addition, another 191 frail, homebound elders will lose “Meals-on-Wheels,” this year thereby increasing the risk that they will end up in a nursing home.

This equals a total of 142,000 fewer meals in our community for more than 1,000 people in need. Funding for supportive services, such as transportation and home-maker and personal care, as well as caregiver support, will be reduced by another $200,000.

The human impact of these reductions is being experienced throughout Florida and the United States. Elected officials must re-address the federal budget in more creative ways that do not harm older people who want to remain at home and the community.

Max B. Rothman, president and CEO, Alliance for Aging, Miami

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