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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: AoA Press Office
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 (202) 357-3507

Kentucky Seniors to Receive Disaster Recovery Assistance

HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Aging Edwin L. Walker announced that Kentucky has received $20,000 to help frail and at-risk seniors recover from the ice storms which ravaged the state earlier in the year.

The funds, requested by the state, will provide elderly storm victims with continued community services so they can maintain their health and living status. These services include meals, transportation to pick up prescriptions and attend medical appointments, home repair, chore services and continued clean-up of debris.

On January 28, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for Kentucky in response to conditions caused by the ice storms. On February 5, the President designated 93 counties in Kentucky as eligible for federal assistance to address the extreme devastation.  The Administration on Aging (AoA) has been working closely with the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living and its community-based aging network since the declarations were issued to provide assistance. AoA has responded immediately to Kentucky’s recent request for federal assistance for seniors.

“This grant to the Kentucky aging network will help provide our seniors with some of the assistance they still need to get back on their feet,” Acting Assistant Secretary Walker said.  “This ice storm hit the state at an especially challenging time in our nation’s economy -- serving as an additional threat to some especially vulnerable people. The services provided with these funds will help seniors to remain in their communities and, for some, avoid costly hospitalization or nursing home stays.”  

Walker continued, “We are so appreciative of the heroic efforts of Kentucky’s state and community-based organizations to help seniors in this time of need.”

These ice storms led many of Kentucky’s seniors, including some with special needs, to flee from their homes. Many seniors moved to temporary shelters and senior centers.  Nearly one month later, power outages continue to be an obstacle for many individuals to return home or to receive services that allow them to remain independent.  The AoA will continue to work with the state and local agencies to ensure that as much support as possible is provided.

Information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics to assist elders, families, and caregivers can be found on the AoA Website at: http://www.aoa.gov 

Information on Emergency Preparedness can be found at http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Preparedness/index.aspx.