Idaho Governor signs bill to improve services for seniors

Idaho Gov. Little signs “Leading Idaho” bill to improve services for seniors

Boise, ID (STL.News) Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 687 into law today at the Mountain Home Senior Center, signaling the importance of investing in Idaho’s growing senior population.

Governor Little also signed a proclamation today recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Senior Nutrition Program, which has funded local agencies and non-profit organizations that serve home-delivered and congregate meals to help older adults and people with disabilities gain opportunities to maintain their health and independence.

Part of the Governor’s “Leading Idaho” plan, House Bill 687 is the appropriation bill for the Commission on Aging and includes a new $5 million investment in Idaho senior centers as well as $720,000 in new ongoing funding to improve access to care for vulnerable seniors and direct support for their caregivers.

The $5 million for senior center support will be used to provide grants for senior centers to upgrade meal site locations that will improve services, safety, and efficiency.  The funds also provide additional support for home-delivered meals over the next 12 months.  The $720,000 new ongoing General Fund investment will be used to support caregivers of family members suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias and Idahoans over the age of 60.  The funding will expand one-on-one resources for caregivers.

“We are seeing many folks moving to Idaho to retire and bringing their parents with them.  Whether you’ve lived here all your life or you are new to Idaho, it is critical we make investments to meet the needs of this important growing population in our state.  This bill enhances local senior centers, which are the hub of all kinds of community activity across most of Idaho.  It also prioritizes Idahoans suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.  With the passage of this important component of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan, we are telling Idaho seniors they matter to all of us,” Governor Little said.

Individuals seeking information about the new resources may contact the Idaho Commission on Aging.  Contact information is available at https://aging.idaho.gov/.