Category

Health Care

Older Adults and People with Disabilities Challenge Discriminatory Surge Care Guidelines in COVID-19 Hotspots Arizona and Texas

By | Health Care, Health Disparities, Health Equity, PRESS RELEASE

July 20, 2020

In states that are hard hit by COVID-19 surges, older adults, people with disabilities, and people of color face a real risk of being denied life-saving medical care during the pandemic. This week, individuals represented by a coalition of state and national disability and civil rights advocacy groups filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) challenging the crisis standard of care plans in Arizona and Texas, two states hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

California’s Master Plan For Aging: Oral Health Recommendations

By | CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Oral Health, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY

California has committed to developing a Master Plan for Aging in order to meet the needs of older adults today and for generations to come.

The fifth in this series of papers, Oral Health Recommendations, offers specific policy recommendations to expand access to oral health for low-income older Californians, improve oral health outcomes, combat systemic health inequities, and improve the overall health of older adults in California.

Free Webinar: The California Final Budget and Older Adults: What Happened and What’s Next

By | Economic Security, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

A lot was at stake in this year’s California 2020-21 budget that the Governor signed on June 29th. Join us for a discussion of what the final budget includes that impacts low-income older adults and what’s next. This webinar, The California Final Budget and Older Adults: What Happened and What’s Next, provides an overview of what the budget includes for low-income older adults, what cuts were avoided, what we can expect next, and how to continue advocating on behalf of low-income older adults in light of the ongoing health and economic crises.

Who should participate:
Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers, local government partners, and others advocating on behalf of low-income older adults.

Presenter:
Claire Ramsey, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging

The webinar took place on Thursday, July 16, 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT WATCH THE WEBINAR

No One Should Be Surprised That America Abandoned the Elderly to Die

By | Economic Security, Health Equity, Home & Community Based Services, IN THE NEWS, Nursing Homes, SENIOR POVERTY

New York Magazine Intelligencer, No One Should Be Surprised That America Abandoned the Elderly to Die, (July 9, 2020)

In the U.S., seniors are often an afterthought. Though elderly Americans receive Social Security and Medicare benefits that lift millions above the federal poverty line, other, more precise measures of economic hardship suggest that senior insecurity is higher in the U.S. than in many other wealthy countries. One survey found that half of all seniors who live alone lacked the means to cover basic expenses; among two-senior households, nearly a quarter reported the same. Many of those low-income seniors continue to work, or enter poorly regulated care facilities that can pose unique dangers to their health. “This is a group who is already living on the edge,” explained Kevin Prindiville, executive director of Justice in Aging. “Because they have low incomes. They have limited work opportunities. They have limited social support in their community. And then you add to that this virus, which is particularly dangerous for them. It just exacerbates all the challenges that they were living with before.”

Free Webcast: Advocating Today and for the Future: Nursing Homes and Home and Community-Based Services in a COVID-19 World

By | Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, Medicaid, Nursing Homes, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

The COVID-19 pandemic presents difficulties and great risk for older Americans and people with disabilities who rely on hands-on assistance from others. Since early March, nursing home residents and others in congregate care settings have faced infection, injury, death, and relentless isolation. Home and community-based services (HCBS) programs have struggled to maintain services at necessary levels.

This Justice in Aging webcast, Advocating Today and for the Future: Nursing Homes and Home and Community-Based Services in a COVID-19 World, will look at both the present and the future. The session will bring attendees up to date on COVID-related policy changes for nursing homes and HCBS, including federal guidance for “reopening” nursing homes.

Also, the session will consider policy changes that the current crisis makes imperative. Shared-occupancy congregate care is a recipe for disaster in a COVID-19 world. The session will consider the immediate need for real change: both in remaking the nursing home model, and, more importantly, in making Medicaid HCBS available to all financially-eligible persons who need it.

Who should participate:
Aging and disability community advocates who want to learn more about advocating around nursing facility issues during COVID-19, and policy ideas for improving facilities and the long-term care system into the future.

Presenters:
Eric Carlson, Justice in Aging
Gelila Selassie, Justice in Aging

The webcast took place on Tuesday, June 30, 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT WATCH THE WEBINAR

Fact Sheet: How the ACA is Helping Older Adults During COVID-19

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, REPORTS

COVID-19 is putting a spotlight on our nation’s healthcare system—exposing both the ways in which programs that serve older adults are essential and the gaps. In particular, the pandemic is emphasizing how older adults’ lives are at stake in California v. Texas, when the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, 18 states, led by Texas and the Trump Administration, submitted briefs asking the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA as unconstitutional.

Justice in Aging’s new fact sheet outlines the ways the ACA is acting as a lifeline for older adults during this pandemic. It ensures that more older adults have health insurance coverage, expands access to home and community-based services (HCBS), and prevents discrimination based on age and disability.

Eliminating the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and anti-discrimination protections would exacerbate the devastating effects of systemic racism that are causing older adults of color who to contract and die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates.

For more on what’s at risk for low-income older adults if the ACA is struck down read our amicus brief and our 10-Year Checkup Issue Brief.

California Sets New Rules for Rationing Medical Equipment if Hospitals Run Out During Pandemic

By | Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS

Sacramento Bee: California Sets New Rules for Rationing Medical Equipment if Hospitals Run Out During Pandemic (June 12, 2020)

The California Department of Public Health has a new plan for that worst-case scenario. On June 9, the CDPH released new pandemic crisis care guidelines, after more than 60 community and advocacy organizations representing millions of Californians objected to the first set of guidelines the department released in April. “We are pleased that California rejected ageist, ableist, and racist approaches for triaging care that have emerged from other states during this crisis,” said Kevin Prindiville, executive director of Justice in Aging. “Instead, California has taken an approach that values the lives and rights of older adults and people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds.”

Aging and Older Adults in the Time of COVID-19

By | Health Care Defense, Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Nursing Homes, SENIOR POVERTY

Peace and Social Justice Radio Show: Aging and Older Adults in the Time of COVID-19 (June 5, 2020)

Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Claire Ramsey was a featured guest on the show. She spoke about COVID-19 and older adults in California, particularly the impact on older adults of color. She also talked about how devastating the proposed budget cuts to programs low-income older adults rely on to stay safe during a pandemic. Claire’s segment starts at the 1 hour mark.

Fact Sheet: Budget Cuts to Programs for Low-Income Older Adults Must be Rejected – Cuts Would Disproportionately Hurt Older Adults of Color

By | CA Health Network Alert, Economic Security, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, REPORTS

Governor Newsom’s revised budget makes deep cuts to nearly every program on which low-income older adults rely. The cuts to programs will be especially hard on older adults of color, who, because of systemic racism and discrimination, are at greater risk from COVID-19 and rely on these programs to survive. If enacted, these cuts will cause great harm to the health and economic security of the state’s low-income older adults and their families.

Last week, the state Senate rejected many of the cuts that the Governor proposed. Advocates need to continue to push back and educate legislators about the devastating impact of these cuts. A new Justice in Aging fact sheet discusses in more detail the specific harms of these cuts and their disproportionate impact on communities of color.