For Immediate Release: February 2, 2023
Contact: DOEA Communications, (850) 414-2142, firstname.lastname@example.org
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Michelle Branham applauded Governor DeSantis’ commitment to building on the success of his first term by continuing to prioritize Florida’s senior population through his Framework for Freedom Budget.
“Through his strategic and bold budget recommendations, the Governor is ensuring that Florida is able to continue caring for our senior population while also strengthening our state’s resources to support future generations,” said Secretary Michelle Branham. “His annual budget recommendations assure that Florida remains a committed national leader in research, services, and support for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and gives the Aging Network the ability to undertake innovative approaches to helping seniors, like the First Lady’s Hope Florida initiative.”
Among the Governor’s recommendations are key investments that will allow the Department and partners to continue building on successes to provide services early-on to seniors and caregivers. Highlights include:
Continuing to Lead the Nation in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Services, and Treatment:
- $8.5 million for the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative to support the work of the state’s 17 Memory Disorder Clinics, which provides direct services to Florida residents and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
- More than $1.1 million to expand the Florida Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, which supports families, caregivers, and individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Enhancing Services to Continue Aging at Home:
- An increase of $5 million to expand the Community Care for the Elderly and Home Care for the Elderly Programs, to serve an additional 900 clients in home and community-based settings.
Building on Current Infrastructure to Address Special Needs:
- The Framework for Freedom Budget supports new positions within the Department of Elder Affairs to serve as Hope Navigators, a hands-on resource developed by First Lady DeSantis through her Hope Florida initiative.
- The program pairs seniors and caregivers with Hope Navigators that can connect them to resources outside of traditional government services. The positions will also support the Hope Heroes program, a volunteer component under the Hope Florida umbrella that allows the Heroes to provide help to seniors through community service.
Lisa Bretz, President of the Florida Association of Area Agencies on Aging and CEO of Advantage Aging Solutions, said, “Governor DeSantis continues to actively listen to the needs of our Aging Network and respond with support and action. This year’s budget recommendations will allow us to serve more Floridians in their homes and communities and advance the state’s mission to live well and age well. I believe our critical work with the Department and Secretary Branham is stronger than ever.”