Never Too Late March/April 2024


By Maddy Bynes, Special to Never Too Late Your Voice Matters: Contact Your Legislators Today!

help bathing, that person might develop skin sores or conditions requiring emergency hospital care. Likewise, if they attempt to bathe on their own and do fall, that person is at risk of hospitalization from a potential fall, including broken bones - which are often life changing and can be fatal at an advanced age. Without funding, someone who needs help preparing their meals will no longer have that support. These people are at risk of malnutrition, oral health issues, and exacerbation of existing health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Those we serve rely on the important and often life-changing work that our contracted direct care workers provide. Without continued funding, many who rely on the financial support of the Arizona Legislature for their service, will lose the limited amount of service they have which supports them living independently and with dignity in the community as they age. This is why we need your help. Over the past several years, your voice has been a critical asset to our advocacy efforts at the Arizona Legislature. Legislators recognize the importance of these funds but only when they hear from their constituents and other community members who are directly affected by the services PCOA and our colleagues around the state provide. It is urgent that you contact your legislators today to help us ensure this one-time funding is appropriated for the

This Spring, the Arizona State Legislature continues its legislative session, focusing on appropriating the available state tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2025. Over the past several years, we’ve been fortunate and grateful for the Legislature’s and Governors’ (over both administrations) commitment to supporting aging services across Arizona, including right here in Pima County. Last legislative session, the Legislature and Governor appropriated an increase of $10 million for Area Agencies on Aging, with half of that going to a pilot housing assistance program and the other half going to address the workforce shortage across Arizona. The $10 million appropriated last legislative session is one-time funding, meaning without its continued investment from the Legislature, Area Agencies on Aging will experience a $10 million reduction in funding. Though the intent of one-time funding is to begin pilot work, we know that so many of the people we serve are not the traditional, “pilot project” type of folks. When an older person requires a bath or help preparing a hot and nutritious meal, that need doesn’t disappear with a funding cycle. Often, without continued investment and service, our clients require more expensive and intensive care for the remainder of their lives. A person who needs help bathing is at higher risk of falling in the tub. Without

next fiscal year. To contact your legislators, visit TODAY and click “ Take Action .” Your voice matters and we need your help right now to support older adults living in our community. Make sure to take action today!

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 31

Pima Council on Aging

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