Editor's note: The following is a press release.
Ethos, the elder services non-profit that operates AgeWell West Roxbury, said today that the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to restore funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCS), which was cut by 50 percent under the budget Governor Deval Patrick submitted to the legislature.
NORCs are high-impact, low-cost “aging-in-place” models that allow elders to continue living independently in their homes, reducing the utilization of costly nursing home care. Nursing homes cost for each senior costs Massachusetts taxpayers $46,500 per year, whereas home care costs taxpayers only $18,000 per year, yielding almost $30,000 per year in savings for every elder who ages in place.
In fiscal year 2012, NORCs received $214,000; the new budget would have cut funding by half to $107,000. The budget for fiscal year 2013 now includes level funding for NORCs.
Key to this effort to restore funding was the work of State Representative Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury, who co-sponsored an amendment that ensures that NORCs receive the resources needed to maintain operation next year.
"Fighting for increased funding for seniors, and particularly for Ethos and AgeWell West Roxbury was my main priority in this year's budget,” said State Representative Ed Coppinger. “I am happy that we were able to increase funding for naturally occurring retirement communities because I know so well the valuable services that AgeWell West Roxbury provides seniors in my district. They are essential to helping keep seniors active and aging in their own homes.”
“State Representative Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury has been a staunch supporter of “aging-in-place” models, not only because they provide value to Massachusetts taxpayers, but because they allow elders to age with dignity and independence,” said Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos, an elder services non-profit serving southwest Boston. “We are very grateful for his support.”