CONTACT: Ashley Marshall
Governor Scott Recommends Significant Budget Increase to Serve More Seniors in Florida
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Secretary Charles T. Corley applauded Governor Scott’s Florida Families First 2013-2014 budget recommendations, which includes a significant increase for the Department of Elder Affairs to serve Florida’s frailest seniors in need of care.
The Governor’s recommendation includes an additional $24.2 million to serve individuals who are at-risk for nursing home placement and are currently on the waitlist for home and community-based services. This budgetary increase will allow the Department of Elder Affairs to provide direct services to these seniors in their own communities while also saving money for Florida’s taxpayers.
Partners across the aging network understand how critical these funds are and how many seniors will benefit from this budget increase. Margaret Lynn Duggar, of the Florida Council on Aging, praised Governor Scott’s budget recommendation, saying, “The Florida Council on Aging applauds Governor Scott for recognizing the needs of Florida’s frail elderly citizens who wish to remain at home. With over 47,000 seniors on the waiting lists for home care programs, increases to these cost effective, essential programs impact the lives of low income elders and their caregivers every day. Florida’s nonprofit and local governmental providers will utilize these funds, maximizing them with local contributions and volunteers.”
With Governor Scott’s budget proposal, the Department’s Nursing Home Diversion Program (NHD) will receive an addition $5.6 million to reduce the waitlist for that program and serve seniors who are in the most critical need of care. The program currently serves 22,000 seniors who are at risk for nursing home placement. In addition to improving the quality of life of those individuals by caring for them in their own homes and communities, at an annual cost of approximately $17,000 per person through NHD, the State also avoids the $61,000 per person cost of nursing home placement.
Governor Scott is also recommending a 17.4% increase of $18.6 million in the Department’s budget proposal to serve almost 1,700 more individuals through the Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver (ADA), cutting the waitlist for that program by more than half. Through the provision of home and community-based services with the ADA waiver, the annual cost to the state per individual is only $11,000, almost one-sixth of the cost of nursing home placement.
Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Charles T. Corley said, “With the release of this budget recommendation, Governor Scott has made clear his priorities to care for Florida’s seniors. Over 95 percent of the Department’s $770 million budget is spent on providing direct services to more than 900,000 Floridians age 60 and older. With Governor Scott’s additional funding, more of Florida’s frailest seniors in need of care can now be served.”
To view Governor Scott’s complete Florida Families First 2013-2014 Budget, please visit www.floridafamiliesfirst.com.