Advocates Propose Agenda Priorities for California’s Master Plan for Aging

Advocates Propose Agenda Priorities for California’s Master Plan for Aging

California Health Advocates, along with over 100 other advocacy organizations statewide signed onto this letter that applauds the Governor’s creation of a Master Plan for Aging and stresses the importance of policy solutions that focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. It also lays out eight specific priorities that the plan must address, including:

  • Advancing the economic security of California’s older adults and reducing the senior poverty rate;
  • Enabling older adults and people with disabilities to receive the long-term services and supports (LTSS) they need while remaining in their homes and communities;
  • Ensuring that California families can afford the costs of long-term care by supporting the
    development of a new model for financing LTSS coverage; and
  • Providing affordable housing to older adults as a way to prevent homelessness and ensure housing security.

Read the letter below for more information.


 

September 16, 2019

 

Secretary Mark Ghaly, MD
California Health and Human Services Agency
1600 Ninth Street, Room 460
Sacramento, California 95814

Re: Master Plan for Aging Proposed Agenda Priorities

 

Dear Secretary Ghaly:

Our organizations are grateful that Governor Newsom has prioritized the creation of a Master
Plan for Aging to address the growing needs of California’s older adults. We are pleased that
the Stakeholder Advisory Group was recently appointed and that the work will begin in earnest
very soon. This is a critical moment in the growth of our state’s aging population. The Master
Plan for Aging provides a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders to work together to address
the many important issues that impact older adults in our communities and for the State to
chart its direction to improve the lives of all older people.

 

As you and your staff begin the work of developing the Master Plan for Aging, our organizations
have identified a set of priorities that the Plan should address. We are sharing these priorities
with you to assist in the Agency’s work of developing the Master Plan for Aging. This list is not
meant to be inclusive of all of the issues facing older adults across the state. Rather it is an
attempt to identify issues that the Master Plan for Aging should prioritize in its work.

 

It is critical that the Master Plan for Aging address these priorities with a focus on equity,
diversity, and inclusion. Certain communities are at an increased risk of aging into poverty
because of systemic inequities they confront throughout their lives. Inequities and resulting
disparities arise based on race, gender, sexual identity, disability, immigration status, language,
and the environment in which people live. California’s Master Plan for Aging must be centered
on equity and must put forth policy solutions that address the fact that not all individuals age
the same.

 

The Master Plan for Aging must:

  • Advance the economic security of older adults in California by setting a goal and
    developing strategies to reduce the state’s senior poverty rate.
  • Enable older adults and people with disabilities to receive the long-term services and
    supports (LTSS) they need while remaining in their homes and communities by setting
    clear goals for rebalancing the provision of LTSS and expanding access to home and
    community-based services.
  • Support and optimize older adults’ ability to live with dignity and independence and
    make decisions about their own care, by further integrating and coordinating
    California’s health care and LTSS delivery systems.
  • Ensure that California families can afford the costs of long-term care by supporting the
    development of a new model for financing LTSS coverage.
  • Meet the needs of a growing number of older Californians living with dementia by
    ensuring that California’s health care delivery system is incorporating best practices
    related to dementia care.
  • Enable older adults to maintain and secure housing and decrease the rate of older
    adults experiencing homelessness by developing strategies to increase the availability of
    affordable housing for older adults.
  • Ensure the rights, independence, and safety of older Californians are protected by
    developing strategies to prevent and address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
  • Ensure that the recommendations of the Master Plan for Aging can be implemented by
    building leadership on aging issues within state and local governments, including within
    the Governor’s Cabinet, within and across state agencies, and within the Legislature.

 

For the Master Plan for Aging to be successful at addressing these priorities, it must be actionable and funded. We appreciate that you and your staff have been explicit that the Master Plan for Aging must not be a document that collects dust on a shelf. Instead, it must include clear and specific action steps that state and local governments and other stakeholders will take to improve services and outcomes for older adults. It must also include plans for collecting data and evaluating the impact of the Plan. Finally, the Master Plan for Aging must also make a clear commitment to funding the actions identified in the plan.

 

We understand that developing and then implementing this Master Plan for Aging requires the collective efforts of your agency, your colleagues in the Administration, the Legislature, and many other stakeholders, including all of us. We look forward to continuing to contribute to this important process over the next year. If you have any questions about this letter, please contact Kevin Prindiville (kprindiville@justiceinaging.org) and Marty Lynch (mlynch@lifelongmedical.org).

 

Sincerely,

 

2-1-1 Orange County
Acacia Adult Day Services
ACC Senior Services
Advancing Justice-LA
Advocates for African American Elders
Alameda County Community Food Bank
Alliance on Aging
Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles
Alzheimer’s Orange County
Angelus Plaza
APLA Health
Asian Law Alliance
Assembly Member Cheryl Brown (Ret)
Association of California Caregiver Resource Centers (ACCRC)
Bay Area Community Services Inc.
Bet Tzedek Legal Services
CA Association of Public Authorities for IHSS
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
California Alliance for Retired Americans
California Association for Adult Day Services
California Association of Area Agencies on Aging C4A
California Association of Food Banks
California Commission on Aging
California Council of the Blind
California Elder Justice Coalition
California Health Advocates
California Hospital Association
California IHSS Consumer Alliance
California Immigrant Policy Center
California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
California Primary Care Association
California Senior Legislature
California Senior Medicare Patrol
California Women’s Law Center
Californians for Disability Rights
Californians for SSI (CA4SSI)
Carroll Estes, Emerita Professor & Founding Director UCSF Institute for Health and Aging
Center for Successful Aging, California State University, Fullerton
Centers for Elders’ Independence
Choice in Aging
City of Irvine
Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations
Communities Actively Living Independent & Free
Community Action of Napa Valley
Community Action Partnership of Orange County
Community Legal Aid SoCal
Community SeniorServ
Corporation for Supportive Housing
David Lindeman, Director, CITRIS Health
Disability Action Center
Disability Rights California
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Easterseals Southern California
El Dorado County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Eunice Kim, California State University, Los Angeles
Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving
Family Caregiver Resource Center, Orange County
Fernando Torres-Gil, Director, Center for Policy Research on Aging UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
Health Plan of San Mateo
Help Me, Help You, Inc.
Housing and Economic Rights Advocates
Human Services Association
Hunger Action LA
Huntington Senior Care Network
Jennie Chin Hansen
Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California
Justice in Aging
L.A. Care Health Plan
Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
Laura L Carstensen, Professor of Psychology, Director, Stanford Center on Longevity
Leading Age California
Legal Aid Society of San Diego
Legal Assistance for Seniors
Leonard School of Gerontology
LGBT Center OC
LIFE ElderCare
Life Skills Training & Educational Programs (LifeSTEPS)
LifeLong Medical Care
Little Tokyo Service Center
Marin Center for Independent Living
Maternal and Child Health Access
Meals on Wheels by ACC
Meals on Wheels California
Meals on Wheels of Alameda County (MOWAC)
Meals on Wheels West
Mercy Brown Bag Program
Multipurpose Senior Services Program Site Association
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter (NASW-CA)
National Health Law Program
Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa and Solano
Partners in Care Foundation
Personal Assistance Services Council
Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Second Harvest Food Bank or Orange
Senior Advocates of the Desert
Senior and Disability Action
Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County
SeniorServ
Service Center for Independent Life
Serving Seniors
Society for the Blind
Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living
St. Barnabas Senior Services
St. Mary’s Center
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
UDW/AFSCME Local 3930
USC Family Caregiver Support Center
Western Center on Law and Poverty
WISE & Healthy Aging
Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance

 

cc: Marko Mijic, Deputy Secretary, California Health & Human Services Agency
Kim McCoy Wade, Acting Director, California Department of Aging

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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