SOUTH CHARLESTON – Older West Virginians soon will have help managing their finances, thanks to a program announced Sept. 17 by Gov. Joe Manchin and Dr. Joyce Payne, Chair of the AARP Foundation Board of Directors.

The Money Management Program helps low-income, older individuals and people with disabilities remain independent while engaging volunteers in the effort. Details about this important new program to assist older West Virginians were announced during the Governor's Summit on Aging in South Charleston.

"Some older people have difficulty managing their personal finances," Manchin said. "In extreme cases, they've had utilities turned off or been evicted from their homes even though enough money was in the bank to make the payments. Many don't have relatives nearby to help them keep track of their finances."

The Money Management Program matches carefully screened and trained volunteers with participants who are in need of help managing their personal finances. Volunteers meet with participants in their own homes and help organize bills, develop household budgets and prepare checks for signature. The AARP Foundation provides financial protection over the participants' funds.

"I know that we are making a real difference in the lives of real people who have worked hard, contributed to their communities and deserve a life of security," Payne said.

The Money Management Program is administered by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with local service agencies such as senior centers, ADRCs or other community organizations. Now active at Kanawha Valley Senior Services in Charleston and at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging in Beckley, plans are to expand the program throughout the state over the next two years.

For more information on the program or to apply to become a volunteer or a participant, people may call the AARP Foundation in Charleston toll-free at 1-800-799-4638.

The Governor's Summit on Aging is an annual event sponsored by the Bureau of Senior Services and is attended by professionals who work with the aging population.

The AARP Foundation is AARP's affiliated charity. Foundation programs provide security, protection and empowerment for older persons in need. Low-income older workers receive the job training and placement they need to re-join the workforce. Free tax assistance and preparation is provided for low- and moderate-income individuals, with special attention to those 60 and older. The Foundation's litigation staff protects the legal rights of older Americans in critical health, long-term care, consumer and employment situations. Additional programs provide information, education and services to ensure that people over 50 lead lives of independence, dignity and purpose. Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions and AARP.

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