The Administration estimates that as many as 4 million meals to older adults could be eliminated as a result of the sequester. In San Diego County, over 100,000 meals will be cut and Senior Community Centers will loose funding for 32,000 meals.
These cuts are particularly devastating at a time when the need and demand for senior nutrition programs is growing at an unprecedented pace. Local organizations who provide nutrition for seniors will soon be forced to take one or more of the following actions:
- Eliminate or reduce meals;
- Eliminate or reduce staff who serve older adults;
- Reduce the quality of the meal; and/or
- Reduce the number of delivery days.
These actions will cause enormous hardship to many older adults who need good nutrition to remain healthier, more independent and out of long-term care facilities.
A Senior Community Centers home-delivered meals driver is bringing lunch to one of our clients. With sequestration going forward, services like these may be drastically reduced nationwide.
Senior nutrition programs serve a distinct group of older adults who are often more isolated and in the greatest economic or social need. Frequently, the meal that is provided is their only guaranteed source of nutrition each day.The long-term impact of cutting senior nutrition programs could be:
- Older adults will end up in hospitals and or nursing homes due to health issues related to the failure to maintain a proper diet.
- Hospital stays will add significant costs to Medicare and Medicaid at a time when efforts are being made to reduce these costs.
Join me in urging Congress to exempt senior nutrition programs from sequestration! We should be investing in these valuable nutrition programs as a means to avoid increasing federal expenditures, not cutting back on them when they are needed most.
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