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Area Agency on Aging Wants Public’s Suggestions on Funding Priorities

Community input is sought to create Senior Friendly Communities throughout the Central Coast area and ensure that limited federal monies are meeting the priority needs of senior citizens through the work of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging, has announced that four public hearings will be held throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties in January to secure comment from the public.

“With the uncertainty of funding from the federal and state budgets, it is imperative that we hear from senior citizens, caregivers and other interested persons about the priority needs as we attempt to have a ‘senior-friendly’ community,” said Jim Talbott, board president. “These are very difficult times and we need to be sure we are on the right track.”

“In developing the draft plan for 2017/18, the Area Agency on Aging decided to project that federal and state funding remained stable,” Talbott said.

“That may be a positive outlook but there are no indications of what changes may be sought by the new federal administration" he said. "The Area Agency on Aging services are basic services, designed to ensure safety and security for older persons and caregivers in this two county region.
“Annually, the Area Agency on Aging prepares a Draft Area Plan which presents a proposed allocation of Older Americans Act monies to address the needs of senior citizens in greatest social and economic need in the two county region,” Talbott said.

“This year it is especially important to look at our funding priorities and ensure they help us to maintain a senior friendly community. All interested persons are invited to attend and present comment at the public hearings," he said.

"The intent of the public hearings is to receive community comment regarding the priorities, goals and objectives of the Area Agency on Aging for the second year (2017/18) of the four-year Area Plan, which are outlined in the Draft Area Plan," Talbott said.
“The Area Plan expresses the intent of the Area Agency on Aging to implement the goals and objectives of the Older Americans Act,” said Barry Marks, AAA Advisory Council chair.

“We are responsible for over $2.7 million for supportive, health and nutrition services to assist older persons and caregivers to remain safe and secure in their own homes,” Marks said.
“We want to hear from the community whether our plans for the expenditure of these federal monies are properly targeted,” he said. “The basic question is how to allocate the limited federal revenues to maintain a senior friendly community?"

Public comment on the DRAFT Planning and Service Area Plan can be provided at either a public hearing or in writing to the Area Agency on Aging office by Feb. 12. The email address is: [email protected] The public hearing schedule is:

San Luis Obispo City: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa St.

Santa Barbara: 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Carrillo Community Center, 100 E. Carrillo St.

Santa Maria: 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at Area Agency on Aging office, 528 S. Broadway.

Paso Robles: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Senior Center, 270 Scott St.

"The Draft Area Plan has been prepared by the members of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council and Board of Directors to ensure the development of a community based system of social and nutrition services in the two county region," Marks said.

"The challenges ahead for the Area Agency on Aging include support of a social service system which strengthens the capacities of older persons in greatest social and economic need within the financial constraints imposed by federal and state governments," he said.

Copies of the Draft Planning and Service Area Plan are available at local libraries and the Area Agency on Aging office. All interested persons are invited to attend the hearings. Persons needing accommodation must contact the AAA by Jan. 13.
— Joyce Ellen Lippman for Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

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