Federal dollars from the Older Americans Act provides Rhode Island policy makers with funding to promote community-based services to keep older adults healthy and independent at home. The Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs (RIDEA) announced the distribution of 466,000 in Older American Act funding to multiple agencies.
According to RIDEA, the additional federal dollars, which have come to the Ocean State as a result of efforts by Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, will fund multiple projects across the state, including intergenerational programs, respite and caregiver supports and various other services.
“Seniors should be able to live in their own homes and remain active members of their communities for as long as they choose. These investments will help Rhode Island’s seniors live happier, healthier, more independent lives,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo, recognizing the efforts of the state’s congressional delegation for successfully bringing additional funding to allow the funded organization to provide critical services to Rhode Island’s seniors.
Recognizing the importance of investing in senior services, Governor Raimondo doubled the state general revenue investment in senior center services in the state fiscal year 2019 budget. She also increased state funding for Meals on Wheels by 160% in state fiscal year 2016, and has sustained that funding each year in office. Investments such as these are a priority for Governor Raimondo and her Health and Human Services Cabinet.
Senator Reed Brings Home the Bacon
“These funds will help more seniors live independently and better protect vulnerable older Americans,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee who helped increase funding for Older Americans Act programs in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law. The State’s Senior Senator recognized RIDEA and Director Fogarty of putting this federal funding to work and bringing needed health and wellness services to seniors across the state.
“Whether it’s home-delivered meals, transportation assistance, or senior center services, RIDEA is committed to ensuring all seniors have the information and support they need to stay healthy, active, and engaged in the community” notes Senator Reed.
Adds RIDEA Director Charles J. Fogarty, “As the state unit on aging, RIDEA strives to empower older Rhode Islanders; this funding enables us to make strategic investments in areas that are in high-demand: case management, The POINT, Meals on Wheels.” Each day these agencies make a difference in the community, says Fogarty.
“These investments in senior services will promote quality of life, independence, and help our older Rhode Islanders remain connected to their communities and loved ones for as long as possible,” said Secretary Eric J. Beane. “I am pleased we are able to distribute these funds in our community as we help seniors lead long and productive lives.”
Recipients of New AOA Funds
The projects supported by the additional Older Americans Act funds are:
The POINT at United Way of Rhode Island, $57,000: supporting staff positions and administrative coordination of the statewide Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) call center and outreach network; sustain and increase services targeted at caregivers of family members 60 years of age and older.
Senior for Seniors Pilot Program at East Providence Senior Center/East Bay Community Action Program, $20,000: This pilot program will match interested high school students with senior center members, forming a quality, mutually-beneficial and enriching relationship.
Case Management Services, $60,000: Allocated funds will be made available to cover administrative and direct service expenses incurred by DEA’s four case management agencies. A focus will be placed upon technology and system process upgrades.
Ocean State Center for Independent Living, $20,000: Support of over 7,500 annual client contacts and provision of additional support for in-home modifications, assistive equipment and technology for clients in need.
Health Equity Zone Pilot Program, $30,000: DEA will partner with a Health Equity Zone for the purposes of nutrition services and education. The program represents a collaborative partnership between DEA and the RIDOH HEZ and creates a focus on advancing social determinants of health.
Congregate Meal Providers, $51,000: Enhancement of service experience at the dozens of meal sites across the state. Additionally, an increase in support will be made to the congregate meal program for the Narragansett Indian Tribe.
Home Delivered Meals, $89,000: DEA will provide funding to Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island to maximize the number of meals served.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, $24,000: DEA will seek a provider to offer evidence-based interventions specific to addressing the behavioral needs of older Rhode Islanders.
CareBreaks Respite Program at Catholic Social Services of Rhode Island, $50,000: maintain increased level of state-wide respite services for family caregivers.
Grandparents Respite Program, $35,000: further investments in state-wide respite services for grandparents supporting and caring for minor children.
Alzheimer’s Association of Rhode Island, $30,000: continued support of the annual Caregivers Journey Conference and continuation of pilot initiative with community first responders.