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With Sequester Cuts Looming – A Call to Rally for Independence

March 6, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - Cuts from the federal sequester have the potential to negatively impact services for older people and those with disabilities in Indiana.

With projected 5 percent funding cuts to the Older Americans Act, said Kristen LaEace, chief executive of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, many Hoosiers would face a loss of services.

"We could see 75,000 fewer home-delivered meals," she said. "We could see 3,380 fewer hours of respite services for caregivers, 28,600 fewer hours of our adult day care. It could affect more than 22,000 Hoosiers."

A "Rally for Independence" is planned for noon March 26 at the Statehouse to focus on the importance of home and community-based services. LaEace said people from at least 86 of Indiana's 92 counties plan to tell lawmakers why they believe state funding must remain in place.

Two years ago, lawmakers proposed cuts, but ultimately the programs were fully funded.

LaEace said people with disabilities and those who are older have plenty of opinions and stories to share "about how important these home and community-based services are, to themselves and to their families and to their caregivers, what difference it's made in their lives, and ask the legislators to maintain the state-level appropriations."

LaEace said folks who want to attend the rally need to contact their local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-986-3505 about transportation and a free box lunch.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN