AARP Eye Center
In February, AARP Delaware’s Advocacy Director Sheila Grant provided testimony at the Joint Finance Committee Hearing in support of some specific state funding.
AARP supports the 2024 budget request of Delaware’s Division of Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. We believe seniors should be able to remain in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. In a 2021 AARP survey, 85% of Delawareans aged 45 and up said they prefer to stay in their own homes as they get older. Senator Mantzavinos’s Aging in Place Work Group has confirmed this preference. DSAAPD provides the services and supports that make it possible – nutrition, personal care, respite, and more.
Delaware’s older population is growing. Last year, DSAAPD did not receive a funding increase to cover that growth. This has led to waiting lists of over a year for many services. Sadly, some Delawareans have had to move to nursing homes, and some have even died while waiting for home and community-based services. In order to keep pace with the needs of Delaware’s growing older population, DSAAPD must receive corresponding increases in funding next year.
Like many states, Delaware is experiencing a housing crisis. One program that addresses this is the rental assistance program known as S-RAP. It allows people with low incomes to remain independent. DSAAPD is asking for additional S-RAP vouchers this year, to support the growing number of unhoused older adults. AARP supports this program, as well as home modification supports, which help Delawareans to access affordable housing and keep them connected to their communities and social networks.
AARP supports budget allocations that will make it possible for Delaware's growing 50+ population to age successfully in their communities, with dignity and independence. Without an increase in funding to serve a growing older population, we will fall behind.