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ServiceLink for NH Seniors, and Adults with Disabilities on the Chopping Block

April 11, 2011

CONCORD, N.H. - The budget axe is poised to fall on a program that aids thousands of New Hampshire's seniors and adults with disabilities, and some say eliminating SeviceLink now will translate to higher costs to taxpayers in the not-too-distant future.

Russ Armstrong chairs the State Committee on Aging. He says the budget recently approved by the New Hampshire House would eliminate all the funds for the program, which connects people throughout the state to a wide a wide array of services.

"Eighty-percent of those result in a referral to a non-public system, meaning it doesn't cost the taxpayers any money. If those same people weren't able to get those alternate systems, you know that's going to lead back to the single-most expensive option, which is the nursing home."


Lisa Morris is the executive director for the Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, located in Belknap County. Statewide, she says, SeviceLink last year connected almost 29,000 people to more than 155,000 services.

"Additionally, we did almost 1,500 home visits. With ServiceLink not being available to people, there's going to be a dramatic loss in supports to the older adults and to adults with disabilities and their families."

By cutting the funds for SeviceLink, about $640,000, Armstrong points out that the state will lose $2.5 million in federal matching funds.

"It's a much bigger hit than just the budget passed by the House. Putting this in the context of a longer-range impact on the system, you can see where this is going to lead to spending requirements and increased expenses in the future."

ServiceLink is a statewide network of 13 resource centers and several satellite locations, and is part of the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services. Each location is staffed with a manager, a long-term support councilor and a referral specialist.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH