ALBANY, NY –The Empire State Association of Assisted Living (ESAAL) today presented an award of appreciation to Senator Sue Serino, chair of the Senate’s Aging Committee, for her leadership and unwavering support of New York’s senior citizens and those who care for them.
The recognition coincided with the national observance of Assisted Living Week, Sunday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 16. The observance honors the individuals served, as well as the individuals who serve, in assisted living and residential care communities across the nation with special activities and events.
“Senator Serino’s hard work and determination has made her one of the most effective advocates for New York’s seniors,” said Lisa Newcomb, executive director of ESAAL. “She has inspired us with her command of the issues facing the assisted living provider network and her genuine commitment to helping our elderly. We are grateful for Senator Serino’s efforts and look forward to working with her in the future.”
“I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this award,” said Senator Serino. “With New York poised to experience an Age Wave in the coming years, we need additional quality, affordable long-term care options for our seniors today more than ever.”
In a recent effort to aid low-income seniors, Senator Serino sponsored a measure to increase New York’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rate. Adult care facilities (ACFs), commonly known as adult homes, enriched housing programs, or assisted living residences provide a critical service for our elderly population such as housing, food, assistance with their personal care needs, and medication monitoring. For the low-income population, SSI pays for all of these services.
Regrettably, while the federal portion of the SSI rate has increased incrementally over the years, the state’s contribution has remained frozen since 2007. And without an increase in a decade, ACFs can no longer make ends meet and are closing their doors at an alarming pace – forcing many low-income seniors, unable to live on their own, out of their homes and in many cases into costly nursing homes.
The measure A.6715B/S.6732 (Brindisi/Serino), received overwhelming support in the state Assembly and Senate and passed in both houses. It will soon be transmitted to the Governor for consideration.
“Investing today in the health and safety of our senior citizens is not only the right thing to do; it’s fiscally responsible and economically smart,” said Serino. “The assisted living industry has been hit hard by rising costs. Facilities that are home to seniors supported by SSI are struggling to make ends meet and it is time for the state to step up to ensure that all of New York’s seniors have the means to age with dignity in a safe, healthy environment.”
The state Assembly will be holding two hearings on this issue. The first will be Tuesday, Sept. 19 in New York City. The second will be Thursday Sept. 28 in Syracuse. The meeting notice can be found here: bit.ly/2wGxtqT
For more information, please visit ESAAL at http://www.esaal.org and follow on twitter @essalNYS .