ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement on Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2015-16 executive budget from Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State:
"Family caregivers are the backbone of New York's long term care system, and AARP is thrilled Governor Cuomo is taking this groundbreaking step to ensure they're adequately prepared to provide the best care they can to our frail elderly parents, spouses and loved ones after going home from the hospital.
"AARP surveyed New York's 50+ voters last year and found an astounding 92 percent favor ensuring that hospitals train family caregivers in after-care tasks.
"We strongly urge state lawmakers to adopt the Governor's proposal as part of the final state budget. It will improve the care of our loved ones, give family caregivers the tools they need to provide a labor of love, and could save the health care system money by avoiding preventable hospital readmissions.
"We applaud the Governor's proposal to add $30 million in programs that promote aging in place: $13 million for respite services, which allow family caregivers to help our frail elderly age with dignity and independence in their own homes – rather than in much more expensive, taxpayer-funded nursing homes - and $17 million for 'NY Connects,' a one-stop shop to help New Yorkers find community-based long term services and supports.
"Affordability is a top issue for New York's 50+, and AARP commends the Governor for moving toward helping the group make ends meet through income-based property tax relief.
"AARP surveyed 50+ voters across New York last year, and more than half of homeowners are 'extremely' or 'very' concerned about being able to pay their property taxes.
"AARP remains concerned about New Yorkers' ability to afford utility bills that consistently rank among the highest in the nation, and we urge lawmakers and the Governor to join 40 other states in providing utility consumers an independent advocate to fight unfair rate hikes."
Governor Cuomo's Caregiver Support Initiative
"There are millions of New Yorkers who spend countless hours providing direct, hands-on care for friends, family members, or neighbors who are aging or have a disability. However, family members who care for aging, mentally ill, or impaired relatives tend to encounter more stress than other kinds of caregivers and themselves report high levels of depression. The Governor will launch an initiative to support this caregiving population through increasing in-home services programs, which not only support caregivers, but ultimately save taxpayers money because they prevent people from needing more expensive medical care.
The Caregiver Support Initiative will ensure that informal caregivers are clearly identified and provided training and supports before their loved one is discharged from a health care facility. Increased funding for respite care services are also essential to allow family caregivers to continue their tireless efforts."
(Pages 305-306, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's "Opportunity Agenda/2015 State of the State)
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
SOURCE AARP New York