Rep. Stanley Highlights Elder Affairs Budget Priorities & Amendments

As Chairman of the Elder Affairs Committee, Rep. Stanley addressed his colleagues about budget priorities for the state’s older adult population. He explained the need for increased Mental Health support for seniors to help bring them through unprecedented times of stress, insecurity and loss brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also stressed that the legislature must make workforce investments that recognize human service workers as the essential elements they are in senior health delivery. The healthcare workers need to be paid fairly and allowed opportunities to develop and stay in the healthcare industry. The state must fund nursing facilities and make a commitment to ensure best practices are in place while also ensuring older adults can receive services at home and in their communities. Lastly, the legislature should continue to identify opportunities to improve services and protect older adults in the weeks, months and years to come.

During the budget debate, Rep. Stanley filed budget amendments to restore $1.3 million in funding for the Elder Case Management and $776,495 in funding for Elder Protective Services to their FY21 appropriation levels. Both amendments were partially restored. The Elder Home Care Case Management and Elder Protective Services programs offered through the Commonwealth’s network of 25 Aging Services Access Points have remained open and serving our most vulnerable older adults each and every day throughout the COVID19 crisis. During the height of the pandemic, Elder Protective Services case workers were out in the field, conducting home visits in response to some of the most egregious reports of abuse and/or neglect. With the COVID19 vaccine rollout underway and MA moving through Phase 4 of its reopening plan, demand for these programs is increasing every day.