By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell warns lawmakers that a failure to prepare for South Carolina's oncoming "gray tsunami" will cause a budget crisis and human tragedies.
McConnell told a joint session of the Legislature on Wednesday the state's senior population is expected to double over the next 15 years, to nearly 2 million people. He says a long-term plan must focus on programs that help seniors live independently in their own homes.
As lieutenant governor, McConnell oversees the state Office on Aging. His address represented the first State on the Aging Population speech.
McConnell says home-delivered meals and other helping-hand programs cost taxpayers $1,400 per person yearly, compared to $52,000 for nursing home care through Medicaid.
McConnell has requested an additional $4.7 million for home-based programs in 2014-15.