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The State of Senior Programs in the Current Economy

To determine how the current economic climate has affected senior programs.

October 5, 2009
10:00 a.m.

250 Broadway
Assembly Hearing Room 1923, 19th Floor

Hundreds of thousands of seniors rely on programs that serve them in a variety of ways. These programs provide services that range from home delivered meal services, home care, day programs, and respite services for families and caregivers. These essential services allow seniors to live in the communities in which they have been rooted for decades with a greater degree of independence than they otherwise would sustain if these services were not available. Community based services for seniors have been proven to delay institutionalization, save both the State and the service recipient money, and enrich their lives.

Programs that serve seniors rely on a mixture of grants, private donations, and funding from the State and local governments. The economic downturn has reduced or eliminated these traditional sources of funding and, as a result, has required programs to scale back or discontinue essential services for seniors. At the same time, seniors have seen their retirement savings deteriorate, increasing the demand for services while State and local government support is declining.

This hearing will examine how the economic downturn has affected senior programs, what solutions have been developed, and what the future outlook for the programs might be.

Please see the reverse side for a list of questions in response to which witnesses may direct their testimony.

Oral testimony will be limited to five minute durations. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact persons listed on the reply form. In order to publicize the hearing further, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with their policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate and Assembly facilities and activities.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz,
Chair, Committee on Aging

  1. To what extent, if any, have there been changes in the last two years in the amount and nature of private sector support, including grants from private foundations and donations from communities?

  2. In what ways have budget cuts by the State and local governments impacted the type and level of services available to senior citizens within your designated service area?

  3. How have service providers adapted their programs' operations and administration in light of the economic downturn? What steps have been taken to keep programs operational with less money available for staff and programming?

  4. In what way have innovative methods of service delivery been developed to respond to reduced funding?

  5. Have private foundations and philanthropic organizations been supportive of senior service providers in their communities?

  6. In light of the economic crisis, have providers sought to diversify their revenue sources to insulate themselves from future reductions public funding in both the short and long term?

  7. Has the demand for services increased in the last twenty-four months? What are the trends or patterns in these changes in the demand for services?

  8. Are there alternative sources of support, such as in-kind, available to your program? If so, what are they?

  9. Is there need for new legislation to enable programs to take advantage of alternate sources of support? If so, what type of legislation is needed?

  10. Given the current economic circumstances, have you identified any statutes or regulations that prevent your program from being innovative with regard to programs or administration? If so, please describe how you believe the legislature should address a potential change in statutes or program regulations.

  11. Has there been any impact on your program as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on your program?

  12. What is your outlook for the future?


Persons interested in presenting testimony at the public hearing on The State of Senior Programs in the Current Economy to be held on October 5, 2009, or who wish to submit written testimony only, are requested to complete and return this reply form to:

Eric Jacobsen
Assembly Committee on Aging
Alfred E. Smith Office Building
80 South Swan St., Floor 22
Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4355
Fax: (518) 455-7250
I plan to attend the public hearing on The State of Senior Programs in the Current Economy to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Aging on October 5, 2009.
I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 5 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.
I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

I do not plan to attend the above hearing.
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