ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia senior citizens just got a big win in the form of more than $5.6 million in funding for aging services.
And it’s millions of dollars to help people right here in Southwest Georgia.
The almost $6 million will fund services from Meals on Wheels to even providing more caseworkers to protect older adults from abuse.
The additional money was approved by state lawmakers during this year's session.
Seniors at the Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center were excited to hear about the new opportunities Tuesday morning.
About 7,000 senior citizens in Georgia alone have been stuck on waiting lists, left in need of support services, like transportation and personal assistance.
Now almost 2,000 of those people will get the help they need.
“It wasn’t just politics, or people talking and talking. We were able to get everything we advocated for. And look at us now,” said Deborah Flood, the senior site manager with the SOWEGA Council on Aging.
The Georgia Council on Aging and CO-AGE took to the Capitol every day this past legislative session, working to show legislators the overwhelming need for more funding for legislative services.
“Whatever the programs are, our main objective is to make sure people stay in their homes for as long as possible,” said Duane Tolson, the social services coordinator with the Georgia Council on Aging.
And the council got a win in an additional $5.6 million to help seniors do just this.
“We’re able to get what we need, and 2019 is going to be a wonderful, great year,” said Flood.
The money will go towards funding home services, providing aging and disabilities resource centers. Meals on Wheels will receive $1.4 million in funding. It will even help pay for more caseworkers to protect older adults from abuse.
“Support seniors in their communities to allow them to have a better way of life and stay in their homes as long as possible,” said Tolson.
The additional funding will even provide $7,500 to the assistive technology lab we have right here in Albany at the Senior Life Enrichment Center. It helps older adults with daily living challenges.