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Ky. budget cuts could affect programs senior citizens depend on

by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 8:25 AM

(WHAS11) -- Some proposed budget cuts in the state of Kentucky could mean big changes for some programs senior citizens depend on. The Department of Aging and Independent Living is facing a six percent cut.

“I don’t think people get the thinness of this safety net, and how we don’t have any depth anymore,” said the CEO of Elderserve Harriette Friedlander. Elderserve is a non-profit that helps senior citizens stay in their homes.

“I was making out alright, but I was having a rough time,” said Michael Wagner, who uses Eldercare’s services. “They’ve helped me with my bills. They’ve helped me get my groceries,” said Wagner.

Friedlander told WHAS11 the budget cut is short-sighted, and it could ultimately cost more by leaving more seniors in need of emergency health care or nursing homes.

“They are our parents, our aunts, our uncles, our grandparents and soon they will be us,” said Friedlander. She said her agency is already eliminating positions and outsourcing programs to help.

The governor’s office said most state agencies were cut by 8.4 percent in the proposed budget. Other agencies, such as the Department of Aging and Independent Living, were protected from the deepest cuts and were reduced at a lesser rate.

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