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HHS’ Administration on Aging Provides Flood Relief to Maine Seniors
HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell announced that Maine has received $30,290 to assist in relief efforts as a result of April 2008 storms and flooding which impacted the lives of many Maine seniors and their caregivers.
The funds will provide flood victims, many of whom lost their homes or suffered significant property damage, with essential community services and assistance, home repair, chore services and continued clean up from the flooding so that they can return to their homes or, in some cases, find alternative places to live. Many of those displaced have been temporarily taken in by family members in nearby communities.
“This grant to Maine’s network of aging organizations will help in providing seniors in rural, remote Aroostook County with the supportive assistance they need to continue rebuilding their lives,” said Assistant Secretary Carbonell.
On May 9, President Bush declared the entire state of Maine a national disaster. The April 2008 flooding, combined with record snowfall and cold weather during the winter, caused major evacuations and displacement for many elders, many of whom have limited English-speaking skills. Local evacuations occurred in Fort Kent, Washburn, Mattawamkeag, and Masardis which have a great number of older French-speaking citizens.
Many of the affected seniors lack insurance to help with sufficient recovery and most of the individuals need basic food items and the replenishment of household goods. Many are relying on Older Americans Act and other federal programs to cope with the damage and disruption caused by the floods.
The Administration on Aging continues to work closely with the Maine Bureau of Elder and Adult Services to offer needed relief to those communities impacted by the flooding.
Information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics to assist elders, families, and caregivers can be found on the Administration on Aging Website at: http://www.aoa.gov
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.