Elderly Brace for Sequester Impact - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Elderly Brace for Sequester Impact

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - As Capital Hill continues to wrestle with sequester negotiations, organizations that help the elderly brace for the impact.

When it comes to trimming the budget, Thelma Davis with the Information and Assistance at Tri-County says seniors shouldn't have to pay up.

"Anything that they would cut to me, would be very devastating. I would hate to think what would happen to some of those seniors who receive those services," said Davis.

Those services, like Meals on Wheels, could be in hot water if Congress doesn't make a deal to stop the looming sequester.

According to the National Council on Aging, Michigan's senior nutrition programs would lose almost $1.5 million. This means nearly 900,000 meals lost and about 9,500 seniors without meals. While the numbers seem dire, Tri-County Offices on Aging Executive Director Marion Owen says they'll do everything they can to lessen the impact on seniors.

"Would it mean layoffs and furloughs? Maybe furloughs, I don't anticipate layoffs. And certainly the last thing we'll do is cut services," said Owen. "We're pretty creative. We've been through this, not quite to this degree this fast, before, but we have some creative staff here and a board that is very creative as well."

Programs aiding able-bodied seniors, like Congregate Meals, may get hit first. But Owen still holds out hope a deal can still be made in Washington.

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