by Eric Dowdy, Chief Government Affairs Officer, LeadingAge California
Affordable Senior Housing: The state needs to invest in building and retaining affordable housing stock for older Californians. As policymakers have increasingly come to know that “housing in healthcare,” we will continue our call to ensure that every Californian has access to housing they can afford.
Workforce: The pandemic has worsened the acute workforce issues our sector has been experiencing for many years. Action needs to be taken quickly to get new workers into the field and to increase the clinical expertise from more geriatricians to caregivers.
Long-Term Services and Supports Financing: The work continues with our partners on the California Aging and Disability Alliance (CADA). We continue to advance the call for a LTSS benefit that provides much needed support for older adults to access the services they need to maintain their autonomy, independence and self-direction.
With the new administration, there is hope that stimulus money will be distributed to the state to assist with shortfalls. However, it is unlikely that this will be more than a band-aid until the state begins to recover from the pandemic and the economy revives itself. Despite this, we will continue our advocacy so move forward on these important issues.
While 2021 will undoubtedly be another difficult year, we are hopeful as we see signs of new dollars to states, refocused efforts to control the pandemic, and a solid blueprint in the Master Plan to lead the way. Please join us as we continue our advocacy in 2021 with virtual events that will help spread our message in Sacramento. We cannot do it without you.
Wishing you all a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!
Chief Government Relations Officer