Alzheimer’s Awareness and Senior Services Advocacy Day
Feb. 23, 2017
District Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Sheila Howard of Owensboro, Celia Gutfreund of Mayfield, Cindy Tabor, and program Ombudsman Belinda Babb of Hopkinsville were proud to serve as the voice of residents who could not travel to Frankfort to meet with legislators.
Why is Advocacy Day important? Watch the video and consider these facts:
- In Kentucky, there are 270,000 caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s or another dementia providing more than 307 million hours of unpaid care valued at over $3.7 billion.
- The most recent census shows that 829,193 individuals aged 60+ comprised 18.8% of the total population of Kentucky and that percentage is expected to grow to 25.6% by 2030!
- Total funding for the Department for Aging and Independent Living for the years 2009-2014 has decreased by a total of 26% as the population is increasing and needs for services escalate.
- Loss of senior services would affect workplace productivity and cause work loss for caregivers financially impacting Kentucky businesses.
BILLS TO WATCH
Listed below are bills and issues that impact older adults. For more information about a particular bill, click on the bill name.
SB4 – Establish KRS Chapter 216C; create within that chapter various new sections establishing a medical review panel system for use in civil litigation relating to health care providers, including sections setting out definitions, delineating covered health care facilities and providers, panel membership and formation, functions and deliberations of the panel, and utilization of panel results in civil actions; allow for the electronic filing of proposed complaints if the Cabinet for Health and Family Services establishes an electronic filing system.
- SB4 imposes unnecessary costs and barriers to justice for long-term care recipients who have few financial resources.
- Average stay in LTC is three (3) years; this process with SB4 can easily take 6-8 months
- This bill does nothing to improve conditions or staffing rations in long-term care facilities.
SB129 – This legislation proposes providing information and training to family caregivers before a loved one goes home from the hospital or other medical facility.
SB29 – Amend KRS 605.120 to permanently establish a kinship care program.
- The Cabinet shall establish a reimbursement system, within existing appropriation amounts, for foster parents that comes as close as possible to meeting the actual cost of caring for foster children. Funds will provide for the board, lodging and care of children.
- The cabinet shall establish, implement and maintain a program for kinship care that provides a more permanent placement for a qualified relative for a child that would otherwise be placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect, or death of both parents.
HB83 – This act grants civil and administrative immunity to broker-dealers or investment advisers who, with reasonable belief and in good faith, report suspected financial exploitation of eligible adults to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions.
Other ways to get involved:
Goals of the KAG Public Policy Committee:
- Build on KAG’s advocacy efforts to strengthen interaction with state and federal legislators.
- Provide opportunities for seniors to be heard by legislators.
- Develop a collective picture of senior citizen needs and concerns at the regional, state and national levels.
- Enhance partnering with agencies, service providers and KAG on older adult issues and advocacy.
- Involve media to more effectively tell the story of older adult issues.
Continue advocacy and education efforts in the following areas:
- Maintain or increase funding for community-based services
- Prevention of and raise awareness about elder abuse
- Long-term care reform and quality of care in nursing facilities
- Monitor changes in healthcare access for individuals over 60
- Continue to plan and coordinate with AAAILs, AARP, and other entities advocating with and on behalf of seniors
- Coordinate small group visits to Frankfort during the legislative session
- Strengthen advocacy efforts through community presentation and KAG website alerts
We are always looking for members who would like to serve on the Public Policy Committee. If this sounds like your cup of tea, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.