MOTHER’S DAY IS APPROACHING AS MAYOR BLOOMBERG CUTS 

LIFELINE SOCIAL SERVICES TO HOMEBOUND ELDERLY WOMEN

Thousands of older women, whose average age is 85, will not be celebrating Mother’s Day as they face the possibility of losing lifeline social work services that allow them to remain in their home safely, with supportive services. The Bloomberg administration’s budget for next year includes a 30% cut, $6.6 million, to case management services for frail, homebound elderly. Case managers are trained social workers who go into the homes of homebound seniors to see what assistance they need including if they have enough food, start meals-on-wheels, money for rent and other needs, proper medical care and transportation to the doctor, elder abuse, family situations, applying for food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits, and so on.

This is the second time in six months Mayor Bloomberg has put this cut on the table as City Council negotiated a $3.3 million restoration in January. If the cut happens, about 8000 seniors will lose case management services as over 100 social workers will lose their jobs. There are about 900 elders on waiting lists meaning no social worker has been able to come at all. Caseloads average 70 and will skyrocket to 85 or more. Most of the homebound elders are women and most of the social workers who will lose their job are women making this a double hit for Mother’s Day. Seniors will use more costly hospital and nursing home care. For case management anecdotes, go to www.cscs-ny.org, and see the “Making it Real” campaign.

According to Bobbie Sackman, Director of Public Policy, “Just six months ago in January, these funds were restored. It is disturbing that the Mayor would put this cut right back on the table as everyone recognizes that case managers are necessary for homebound elders to remain home safely. With the prospect of 8000 seniors losing case management services while 900 languish on waiting lists, we urge the Mayor to restore the $6.6 million. We ask all New Yorkers to call 311 and urge Mayor Bloomberg to pull back this cut. Let thousands of older women and their families truly have a good mother’s day.”

The Council of Senior Centers and Services is gearing up for its May 11th City Hall Advocacy Day which will bring 300 seniors to city hall for an 11:00 press conference and meetings with City Council Members. Seniors will speak on their own behalf and have a voice in their future as they oppose $38 million in cuts to the senior services funded through the Department for the Aging, including case management.
The Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) promotes the quality of life, independent living, productivity, and dignity of mature older adults principally in New York City. CSCS champions elder rights. For more information visit the CSCS web site at cscs-ny.org.
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The Council of Senior Centers and Services (CSCS) promotes the quality of life, independent living, productivity, and dignity of mature older adults principally in New York City. CSCS champions elder rights. For more information visit the CSCS web site at cscs-ny.org.

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