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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Silly Season Returns and.../  Editorial List

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The Silly Season Returns
and What You Can Do About It

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se·ques·ter
/səˈkwestər/

Noun

A general cut in government spending.

This week, Congress returned to Washington, DC from a week-long recess, no closer to averting the March 1 across-the-board cuts called the sequester.

Our good friends at the N4A (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging) are encouraging everyone to reach out to Congress this week—whether you are an AAA director, a board or commission member, staff, older adult, professional caregiver, family member, volunteer or any other interested consumer who understands the incredible value of the Older Americans Act and other federally-funded discretionary programs.

What’s at Stake

If the proposed 9 percent across-the-board cut goes into effect via sequestration on March 1, vital programs in your community would be significantly harmed. Here are just a few of examples of what may happen to some of the Older Americans Act programs under sequestration:

  • 18.6 million fewer congregate and home-delivered meals would be served;

  • 2.1 million fewer transportation rides will be available to enable seniors to get to the doctor or go grocery shopping;

  • 1.6 million fewer people will receive in-home personal care services, such as help with bathing and dressing; and

  • More than 62,000 family caregivers would lose access to respite care, counseling and other supportive services that allow them to remain in their critical roles.

Any “savings” from the sequester would pale in comparison to the added costs from premature nursing home placement for seniors who can no longer remain in their homes and communities, poorer nutrition and health consequences, increased falls and other avoidable crises that put vulnerable seniors at risk.


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