State Rep. Edward Coppinger and state Sen. Mike Rush’s offices are continually fighting for important programs for senior citizens in West Roxbury.
The state’s supplemental budget, passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and by the Senate on Thursday, includes $107,000 for programs that serve naturally occurring retirement communities. The budget is now in conference committee before going to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature.
"Naturally occurring retirement communities" include any group of apartments, condominiums, houses, cooperatives, planned communities or public housing units in which the majority of residents have “aged in place” and need support services to continue living in their own homes. The funding would especially help Ethos continue to provide important services to seniors around West Roxbury through its pilot program, AgeWell West Roxbury.
“Senator Rush’s staff and I worked together with Representative Smizik of Brookline to fight for this increased funding because we have seen how crucial these programs are. They are a cost-effective means of helping seniors age with dignity in their own homes and in their own communities. Home care is a less expensive means of caring for our seniors than nursing home which makes this a smart and worthwhile investment,” said Coppinger via press release.
“The state Senate was successful a few months back in including money for the NORCs program in the Fiscal Year 2012 State Budget,” said John Regan, Chief of Staff to Senator Mike Rush. “With Representative Coppinger’s assistance the money survived the conference committee process. This additional funding in the supplemental budget will give AgeWell, West Roxbury approximately $30,000 which is an increase of $15,000 from the original appropriation in June.”
In 2011 alone, AgeWell has sponsored senior events including Seniorpalooza in Roslindale, an informative event about Social Security and Medicare cosponsored by Coppinger in July and has organized a Snow Committee to prepare for the winter and to develop a plan to help shovel snow for seniors who cannot.