CARR continues to receive calls from families looking for assisted living care their family or friend can "afford". With the median cost of assisted living care estimated at around $4,000 per month, and dementia care costing two to three times this amount, statewide advocacy to expand California's (Medicaid) Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP) is essential for low and middle income seniors who need this form of care. The ALWP waiver is up for renewal in 2019. CARR has compiled current ALWP facts and figures to facilitate discussions aimed at (1) increasing the number of ALWP waiver slots and (2) increasing SSI rates and/or ALWP reimbursement rates to more closely align with the cost of care.
20% of those surveyed save 0% of their annual income while those who do save were found to not be saving enough. Experts recommend setting aside 15% of one’s annual income, but of those surveyed– 16% report saving at the 15% level, 25% report saving 10-6%, and 21% save 5% or less.
The survey notes those 55-64 years of age, who do have retirement savings, have a median savings of $120,000, and those 65-74 years old have saved a median of $126,000. Even when factoring in Social Security, these reserves will not last long in the absence of paychecks ($1,342 is the 2017 average monthly Social Security benefit) exposing seniors to the risks of a lower standard of living in retirement and/or an inability to afford an emergency expense.
CARR Develops an Assisted Living Accessibility Index for an Age-Friendly San Diego
The rapid growth of America’s senior population has engendered candid, pragmatic and philosophical discussions about aging by thought-leaders in government, medicine, social work, financial institutions, education and a myriad of other disciplines. AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities movement is a prime example of one the innovative approaches born from these multi-disciplinary discussions. San Diego, as well as 198 other cities across the nation, is actively pursuing AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities designation.
Following the successful completion of a 2015 six-month pilot program (Phase I Report) to develop a uniform rating system using public documents data for California assisted living facilities, CARR is now in its 3rd year of follow-on contracts to manage the official program. The San Diego County sponsored program is called "Choose Well", and puts consumers and facilities in touch with each other on the important issues. Read on to learn more about the program.
Our review of CCL licensing data from 2011-2016 found 40% of facilities receive their license more than 120 days following their first pre-licensing visit. Facilities may contact their local state representatives explaining to them the financial hardship associated with a delay in licensure. Contact information for your local representative(s) is available in the following article.
CARR is pleased to offer the thesis of Melissa Reed entitled "Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly in California: The Challenges of Disaster Planning and Response." This document is required reading for RCFE owners and administrators, the management of Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing, as well as consumers, and first responders. The topic of Disaster Preparedness is under researched, making this study all the more important for increasing the body of knowledge about assisted living in California, but also for spotlighting the deficits in planning, response and execution in the face of adverse conditions combined with the continuing obligation of the RCFE to provide for residents in care.