Elderly feeling impacts of state budget impasse

The on-going state budget impasse has impacted many counties in our area. County leaders said they need that state money and if they don’t get it soon, many services will be delayed or cut completely.

It’s been 44 days since the governor vetoed the budget. Now change is coming

“I know what it’s like to look at a consumer that needs a bath or needs a meal and you have to say ‘I’m sorry I can’t give it to you’,” Art DiLoreto, Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, said.

Across the board – human services is being hit hard. In Lancaster, Lebanon, York, and Cumberland Counties. That’s because as much as 90 percent of their funding comes from the state.

“Any time a situation happens where funds are not flowing like they should the first challenge that Area Agencies on Aging have in Pennsylvania is trying to make sure the most important services are given to the most vulnerable people,” DiLoreto said.

The York County Area Agency on Aging has been forced to delay some in-home services to 20 people. Now those people are on a wait list, which can mean no transportation, no food, no showers.

“The alternative for those folks who weren’t able to receive those services over the long term could be some type of placement such as assisted living, or nursing home,”  Carl Lindquist, York County Spokesperson, said.

And ultimately more of your tax-payer dollars.

“If those services are not provided then what ends up happening is people are forced into other living and placement situations they don’t really want to be in,” DiLoreto said.

For agencies that depend heavily on state funding, it’s not a permanent loss of revenue. Until the cash flow comes in, help will have to wait.

“We’re all going to age and hopefully age gracefully. At some point in our lives we may be in a position where all we need is a little support to stay in our homes and that’s what these programs provide,” Lindquist said.

Once the budget is passed, all of the services that are impacted are expected to be restored. Until then, people are encouraged to reach out to these agencies so they can help provide alternative support.

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