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AARP Successfully Urges Legislators to Allocate $16 million For HCBS

AARP Mississippi’s “Your Dignity Your Future Your Choice” campaign was successful in urging state legislators to allocate $16 million for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), the largest amount ever allocated for these services in the state’s history.

See Also: The CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Support) Act

The $16 million will provide funding for half of Mississippi’s HCBS waiting list, which ranges from 7,800 to 9,000 people. AARP Mississippi’s staff worked with volunteers who came to the state Capitol to talk with their legislators about the need to fund HCBS this year.

“In a legislative budget year that required a lot of compromise, AARP Mississippi was successful in securing funding for half of the Home and Community-Based Services waiver slots,” said AARP Mississippi Senior State Director Sherri Davis-Garner. “We commend our committed volunteers throughout the state who persuaded their respective legislators to provide $16 million for Home and Community-Based Services waiver slots. We look forward to working with legislators to secure funding for the other half of HCBS waiver slots next year.”

The “Your Dignity Your Future Your Choice” campaign used a variety of tactics to increase awareness about the need to fund HCBS. A toll-free phone number was placed on posters, yard signs, buttons, and flyers to provide Mississippians with more information about the need to fund HCBS. AARP Mississippi members also called legislators through a legislative hotline asking them to support HCBS funding.

AARP Mississippi supports HCBS waiver slots for elderly and disabled services. These services include: homemaker services, adult day services, expanded home health services, home-delivered meals, escorted transportation, institutional respite and/or in-home respite, transition assistance and case management.

The funding will save Mississippians’ money because it costs $68,000 a year to keep a person in a nursing home and only $18,000 a year to provide home and community-based services for a person in his or her own home, according to a 2010 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs.