IN THE NEWS

How Not to Grow Old in America

By | ASSISTED LIVING, IN THE NEWS

New York Times | Opinion: How Not to Grow Old in America (August 29, 2019)

Assisted living facilities in the United States need serious reform to provide the care older adults need. Compared to nursing homes which are regulated, inspected, and graded for quality, assisted living facilities are neither licensed nor overseen by the federal government. States often set minimal rules. Facilities are designed to provide only minimal help and monitoring which has led to increasing complaints in courts. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson says that “nobody realizes the system is broken.”

More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness.

By | IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY

San Francisco Chronicle: More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness. (July 28, 2019)

More and more older adults living in California are homeless. Many are just one crisis away from homelessness. Poverty, a lack of economic security, and a lack of affordable housing are the main causes of homelessness. In this op-ed Justice in Aging authored with Margot Kushel, a medical doctor who researches the health impacts of homelessness on older adults, we make the case for  creating more affordable housing and providing older adults with a fixed income to lower cases of homelessness. Making health care more affordable, helping older adults maintain their home while recovering in nursing homes, and restoring SSI are additional ways to keep older adults from homelessness.

New Budget Boosts Health Coverage For Low-Income Californians

By | CA Health Network Alert, Health Care, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security

Kaiser Health News: New Budget Boosts Health Coverage For Low-Income Californians (June 25, 2019)

California’s new state budget for 2019-20 includes funds that will help about 25,000 low income older adults and people with disabilities get full Medi-Cal coverage. In the past, older adults had to meet stricter requirements to qualify for Medi-Cal than adults under 65. Regarding the past eligibility rules, Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Amber Christ said, “We call this the senior penalty, because basically you’re being penalized with a stricter eligibility limit based fully on your age or disability.” The new budget will also restore five areas of Medi-Cal coverage: audiology, optical services, podiatry, incontinence supplies and speech therapy.

Benefits on the Line

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

The American Prospect: Benefits on the Line (June 19, 2019)

The Trump Administration has proposed to change how inflation is calculated, moving from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (chained CPI). This change in how poverty is measured would have drastic negative consequences for millions of low-income people, older adults, and people with disabilities. Many would become ineligible for benefits or would receive less assistance as chained CPI lowers the poverty line. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Tracey Gronniger says that, “It would hurt people who are so close to getting help. All of sudden, you have hundreds of thousands of people who are told, ‘Now you’re not poor anymore.’”

Is your loved one in a nursing home? Here’s why you should be alarmed

By | ASSISTED LIVING, IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes

Los Angeles Times: Is your loved one in a nursing home? Here’s why you should be alarmed (June 11, 2019)

A congressional report publicly identified the names of nearly 400 nursing homes cited for substandard care. Prior to the report, the nursing home names had not been disclosed. Nursing home residents suffered conditions ranging from neglect, physical abuse, sexual assault to premature death. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson said,” You’d like to think you could expect high-quality care, but that’s not the case. People should be worried — not sky-is-falling worried, but I-need-to-do-my-homework worried. You can’t take anything for granted.” The full list can be seen here.

Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

ETTV America: Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer (May 29, 2019)

Even when faced with questionable or improper behavior, many AAPI older adults may decide not to speak up.  In a mini-series highlighting individuals for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, ETTV – a Chinese-language television station – interviewed Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Denny Chan.  In addition to sharing his personal story of why he advocates for low-income seniors, Denny discusses reasons why AAPI older adults might stay quiet, even if they are improperly billed for medical services, and encourages them to be involved in their healthcare.  “Many older adults in our community feel an immense sense of gratitude after immigrating from their home countries.  Their benefits may be better here than where they came from.  Of course, this is something to appreciate, but older adults should speak up if they are mistreated by the government.” This interview is in Chinese.

Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population?

By | IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY

KPBS: Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population? (May 22, 2019)

California’s senior population is set to double over the next 25 years. And the state’s high cost of living means a life of poverty for hundreds of thousands of older Californians. KPBS media in San Diego hosted a live panel discussion with aging and economic security experts to discuss how the state can best meet the needs of an aging population while also ensuring that low-income older adults can meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and health care. Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville participated in this wide-ranging panel discussion.