Budget Crisis Hitting Close to Home

Some elder care programs in the state of Georgia may be in jeopardy. They're next on the list of state funding cuts in an effort to balance the budget. Officials of the Area Council on Aging tell us the Georgia Cares program, which includes Meals on Wheels, may be in jeopardy of being cut. Right now officials are just trying to get the word out about how badly this will affect the elderly and homebound.

Seventy-year-old Anny Addison is blind, homebound and on a waiting list to get homecare services. In the meantime, getting a good meal is one thing she can count on.

"It's just a blessing from the Lord. I just appreciate it so much. I know that I'm going to get a meal from you," says Anny.

Addison's situation is like 80 others who depend on the Meals on Wheels program.

"They know that they have at least one good meal a day if the don't have anything else and most of them live by themselves and can't cook for themselves," Shirley Jackson says.

Unfortunately, this service along with other similar aging assistance programs is in danger of being cut as the state tries to save money. Phyllis Nail, of the Southwest Georgia Council on Aging says it's a sad situation for her clients.

"We are going to have a lot of people going into nursing homes and they're already over crowded as it is," Phyllis says.

Nail says it's important that the community recognizes how important these programs are to Addison and many others. Addison and many others come together in an effort to continue helping those who can't help themselves.

Though these cuts are proposed, officials of the council on aging say they are expecting cuts and are taking it very seriously. Board members of Georgia's Department of Human Resources will hear public comment on the planned budget cuts in Albany on November 18.