By David Brand
Astoria Assemblymember Aravella Simotas is stepping up her advocacy for older adults facing uncertain futures by requesting more money for programs that enable senior citizens to remain at home rather than move into nursing homes or other facilities.
Simotas wrote a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting a $100,000 budget increase for the Home Sharing and the Respite Care Programs of the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens. The state currently directs $86,000 to the initiatives, which help families navigate home care and seniors connect with renters to help pay the bills.
“This is a compassionate and practical program that helps the elderly maintain their independence, dignity and comfort, while saving millions of dollars in Medicaid and other government spending,” Simotas said in a statement.
The proposed funding increase would establish the Denny Farrell Memorial Fund for Senior Living in honor of Farrell, a long time New York City politician who represented Northern Manhattan in the Assembly for more than three decades. Farrell died in May 2018.
The Home Sharing Program matches senior hosts who have extra room in their apartments or houses with roommates in need of affordable housing.
The Respite Care Program provides a break for adult caregivers by facilitating affordable short-term home health aides.