Day Out Program funding tightens

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Adult Protective Services makes a $20,000 cut

By Kirsten Laskey

The Day Out Program at the Betty Ehart Senior Center is utilized by caregivers across the county.
The program has been described as a lifesaver, Board President Dick Tatro of the Los Alamos Retired Senior Organization (LARSO) told county council members during their regular meeting Tuesday. Yet, after operating for more than 20 years and despite increased usage in the past 24 months, the program is in trouble.
LARSO Executive Director Pauline Schneider said Adult Protective Services cut its funding by $20,000 – nearly half the annual amount received from the state agency.
“That’s a pretty big hit,” Schneider said.
The Day Out Program had been receiving $46,000 from Adult Protective Services and $36,000 from the Area Agency on Aging each year.
“What this means is we would probably have to reduce program hours,” Schneider said. “We would have to reduce at least one full day.”
The hope is that the county will fill that gap, she said. The county provided funds last year and there is some discussion about putting funding for the program in the county’s FY 2012 budget.  
Tatro said the county contributed $15,000 last year to the program. Eighteen families participate and a member of each family utilizes the program 11 days out of each month on average.

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