Allowing seniors to remain in their homes is one of my top priorities. Home care allows individuals to remain in their homes and live a more independent life. For far too long Massachusetts has relied on institutionalized nursing care. Home care not only improves an individual's quality of life, but also has the potential to save millions of dollars compared with nursing homes.
Too many seniors struggle with the rising costs of prescription drugs. No one should have to choose between buying groceries and paying for needed medications. I was part of the effort to create the Prescription Advantage program that offers supplemental prescription coverage for qualifying seniors. I believe that the Prescription Advantage program should be funded at the highest possible level, and the program should include medications that are not covered by Medicare.
Property taxes take a bite from every household budget, but seniors who live on limited incomes face special difficulties. This has been exacerbated for many as property tax bills have risen faster than incomes in Massachusetts. The Circuit Breaker Tax Credit gives state tax dollars back to seniors to replace some of what seniors pay for property taxes to our cities and towns. I encourage all seniors to determine if they qualify for this program when they file their annual taxes.
Councils on Aging play an important role in the outreach and education for seniors about state services. However, many senior centers across the Commonwealth do not have the technology to operate efficiently; some centers do not even have email capabilities. This hinders the centers' ability to efficiently screen clients and track services and programs. I have advocated for a funding increase to Councils on Aging so that they can better the elders in their community.