Content starts here
AARP AARP States Kentucky Advocacy

Lawmakers Boost Funding for Older Kentuckians

Kentucky State Capitol

Kentucky lawmakers recently passed a two-year state budget that includes more than $50 million in additional funding for programs that serve older residents.

The fiscal 2024–2026 budget includes funding for hundreds of new slots for services provided in homes and community settings, such as adult day health care, which help people to live independently at home.

The new slots will help to cut down waiting lists, says Dwight Butler, a retired member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives who now serves on AARP Kentucky’s Executive Council.

“It’s a good step in the right direction, but the need is huge,” Butler says.

The new budget also includes nearly $1.5 million in additional money for the Kentucky Office of Dementia Services and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. The state’s more than 80 volunteer ombudsmen regularly visit and monitor conditions and care at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, working to investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents.

The budget also increases the monthly personal needs allowance that nursing home residents with Medicaid can use for personal expenses. That allowance will increase from $40 to $60. The budget also includes $20 million in funding over the two-year period to expand senior meal services.

AARP Kentucky advocated for the funding increases. AARP’s priorities received bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans, says Eric Evans, the organization’s state advocacy manager.

AARP’s advocacy volunteers play a key role in educating legislators, Butler says. One phone call or one letter can make the difference between legislation passing or not passing, he says.

—David Lewellen

About AARP Kentucky
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.