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For immediate release: May 19, 2022
Phone: 518.474.8418



Announces Historic Investments for Aging Services Programs in FY 2023 State Budget, Including $181.5 Million for Programs Administered by the New York State Office for the Aging 
State to Develop Comprehensive Master Plan for Aging, Building on New York's Status as First Age-Friendly State, as Designated by AARP
Read the Proclamation Here 
Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation designating May as Older Americans Month in New York State and recognizing the incredible volunteerism of New York's older adults who commit more than 495 million hours of community service each year at an economic value of $13.8 billion.  
"New York's older adults inspire us with their life experiences, guidance, and decades of contribution that make our state a better place," Governor Hochul said. "We honor these contributions and further our pledge to continue providing for New York's older adults, helping enable them to maintain independence and quality of life as they age."      
The proclamation follows historic investments in aging services in the FY 2023 State Budget. The budget provides $181.5 million for programs that support the independence of New York's 4.6 million older adults and their caregivers through the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), including new and expanded innovations to combat social isolation with technology.  
The enacted State Budget includes Governor Hochul's State of the State proposal to implement a comprehensive Master Plan for Aging. It will promote several goals for individuals as they age, including: healthy living and access to care; community connectedness through civic engagement, volunteering, and work; open space and walkable communities that promote physical exercise while reducing reliance on motor vehicles; and more. The Master Plan for Aging builds on New York's status as the first age-friendly state in the nation, as designated by AARP and the World Health Organization in 2017.   
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "Supporting older New Yorkers is not only the right thing to do. It also makes New York the best place for people of all ages to succeed. I applaud Governor Hochul for advancing a comprehensive plan that builds on New York's commitment to age-friendly initiatives for older adults and their loved ones."   
AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, "Our state's population is aging rapidly; one of every four New Yorkers will be 65 or older by the next decade. AARP New York applauds Governor Hochul for raising awareness of and investing in older New Yorkers. We look forward to working with the Governor on a comprehensive and robust Master Plan for Aging that takes into account all facets of society and state government and that will lead to enacting laws and policies to improve the lives of New York's 50-plus."
Core Aging Programs through NYSOFA  
The enacted FY 2023 State Budget appropriates $181.5 million in total funds for programs administered by NYSOFA, which works with a network of 59 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and community partners to deliver vital services that support and empower older New Yorkers and their families. In 2021, this network served more than 1.3 million people with over $500 million invested from all sources under NYSOFA's integrated funding structure, which includes state general-fund dollars, federal funding under the Older Americans Act, and county-level investments.    
These programs provide over 20 core services and community-based supports, including personal care, transportation, legal services, counseling, case management, senior center programming, respite, elder-abuse prevention, and nutrition services such as home-delivered meals, congregate meals, or other nutrition supports.   
Long Term Care Ombudsman Program  
The enacted budget also adds $2.5 million in state funding to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (for a total of $6.59 million in total state and federal resources), supporting residents of long term care facilities and their families with counselors who can assist them in exercising their rights and mediating issues related to their care in nursing homes and adult care facilities. 
Bill-Payer Program  
To help older adults maintain financial independence and guard against financial exploitation, the budget also includes new funds of $750,000 to expand bill-payer programs in up to ten counties - a program that was highlighted in the Governor's original State of the State agenda.  
Social Isolation Initiatives   
NYSOFA has launched several pioneering initiatives to address social isolation - a serious public health concern identified as a "global epidemic" by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2017. The budget adds $2.9 million to offer new or expanded innovations in aging service provision. This includes NYSOFA's animatronic pet initiative, which provides lifelike companion pets for older adults and is proven to reduce self-reported loneliness by 70 percent; a caregiver training and support platform offering expert-led training across critical care competencies; ride-sharing services designed exclusively for older adults; online communities that provide facilitator-led classes and services; and voice-operated smart technology designed to empower independence and support for older adults with daily check-ins, assistance with wellness goals, physical activities, and more.