Tight Budgets Demand Wise Investments: 95th District Rep. Brian Hill Round Tables with AAA9 to Discuss Aging Issues in 9 County Service Area

To age in place or in the community with adequate health, independence and dignity, older adults, their caregivers & those with disabilities need federal, state and local policies that support health, long-term services and supports, economic security, livable communities and mobility.

That was part of the dialogue among Representative Brian Hill (R) and the administrative staff at the Area Agency on Aging, Region 9 (AAA9) during the August 31st site visit. Unfortunately, federal and state budget cuts are making it nearly impossible for Area Agencies on Aging and the Aging Network to maintain existing services.

“The demographics have driven up demand for aging services, as more families are struggling to support and care for older relatives, and elder adults are struggling to make ends meet.” states Chief Executive Officer, James Endly.

State budget crises in recent years have forced severe cuts to the very programs established to serve this population. State funded programs for older adults, and caregivers – created to build upon or fill gaps in federal funds, have faced drastic reductions and even elimination.  Everyone around the table agreed that waiting lists are long and growing longer, and more and more vulnerable older Americans are going without needed critical services. Even as state economies have stabilized, most state programs have not returned to pre-recession levels.

The Area Agency on Aging Region 9 (AAA9) is a leader in working with people, communities and organizations to help older adults and people with disabilities live independently and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Through our caregiver program, our chronic disease self-management programs, PASSPORT and our administration of the Ohio Home Care Waiver, AAA9 serves individuals of all ages.  Designated by the Ohio Department of Aging as one of America’s nearly 700 Area Agencies on Aging, we serve a nine-county area that includes Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Muskingum, and Tuscarawas Counties.  For more information, please call 800-945-4250 or visit us on the Web at www.aaa9.org.