Albany, NY - Senator Rachel May (SD-53) met with more than a dozen advocates for senior citizens in Albany on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to hear their concerns about challenges facing the state’s older citizens and the agencies that support them. The meeting was organized as part of the New York Legislature’s Aging Advocacy Day at the state capital. May, who was elected last November to represent the 53rd State Senate District, serves as chair of the Senate’s Committee on Aging.
“Issues related to aging touch all of us at some point in our lives, and the challenges facing New York’s older citizens are going to grow increasingly stark as the statewide population continues to age,” Senator May said. “I am committed to doing all I can, in partnership with my fellow committee members, to advance policies that support the health and wellbeing of those who have given so much to our communities and who continue to hold an important place in the life of those communities and in our state.”
New York ranks fourth in the nation in number of adults age 60 and older, with 3.7 million in that demographic. In 2015, the state had 12 counties in which seniors--those age 60 and older--comprised more than 25 percent of the population. By 2025, that number of counties is projected to grow to 33. Seniors also have a significant economic impact: State data show that 935,000 individuals age 60 and older contribute 495 million hours of service to the economy, with an economic value totaling $13.8 billion.
Visitors meeting with Senator May during the advocacy day included Office for Aging directors from across the state as well as representatives from various other related groups. In addition to weighing in on the state’s proposed budget, advocates voiced concerns about pressing challenges facing seniors and elder-services agencies statewide, including a critical shortage of home care aides, financial abuse of seniors, and a growing demand for elder services.
May expressed her support for the advocates’ work and her gratitude for their commitment to serving New York’s older citizens. She said she looks forward to collaborating with them to address the growing need for senior services and to foster the development of age-friendly communities in which seniors can thrive throughout New York State.
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