The Commonwealth explores combining agencies; what it means for seniors

Allegheny County’s senior community is concerned about the potential merger of Pennsylvania state agencies. With the potential merging of four agencies—House, Health, Human Services, and Aging and Older Adult Services—into one mega-bureaucracy, will older adults be disregarded in the shuffle?

Seniors are asking, “What about our Meals on Wheels program?” “Are our senior centers going to close?” “Will they be consolidated and moved out of my accessible area?” “What about public transportation; will that be cut?” Another major concern: Is the Pennsylvania Lottery Fund going to be raided? (The receipts of the lottery are currently dedicated to the necessities facing seniors.)

Do we as seniors face being stormed on both the Federal and State levels? We must be vigilant as the (senior) Age Tax issue is now being revisited on Capitol Hill. (Age rating is for insurance purposes and is actually a penalty based on a person’s age!) Seniors appear to be threatened on both fronts!

Other upcoming events on the calendar this month and next include:

  • Open Streets Pittsburgh (learn more at openstreetspgh.org). This is part of a movement called Ciclovia, which includes hundreds of cities around the world. Help Pittsburgh be the healthiest, most active city! Come and meet your neighbors: Sunday, May 28, Uptown, Southside and Downtown; Sunday, June 25, North Side, West End and Downtown; Sunday, July 30, Downtown, Strip District and Lawrenceville.
  • Senior Lives Matters Justice and Wellness Expo, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 10 at IBEW Circuit Center on the South Side. Free for those born before 1958. For information, call (412) 430-3319.
  • Healthy Steps for Older Adults, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 12. Learn to prevent falls. Primetime Senior Center and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging are sponsoring this program. Registration is required; call Mary at (412) 307-1782.
  • AARP Allegheny County Team meeting on Wednesday May 24 at TechShop, 192 Bakery Square Blvd. in East Liberty. There is three-hours of free parking in the garage. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour TechShop, one of Pittsburgh’s newest innovations.
  • Movie for Grownups: Keep an eye open for the next movie, coming to a neighborhood near you. Film and location to be determined.

Written by Barbara Bush

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