The state of California's Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) Program is insufficient given the current and future demand for affordable, senior care services. To date, there are over 2,500 individuals who have qualified, both medically and financially, for the ALW Program but who have been waitlisted. There are seniors whose medical needs qualify them for the program but whose incomes are not low enough to qualify them for MediCal nor high enough to afford private pay rates. Furthermore, the ALW Program is only operating in 15 of California’s 58 counties and a limited number of assisted living facilities participate in the program because of low reimbursement rates. On the whole, these limitations are leaving seniors and their families without access to much needed services. California can do better.
AB 2233 would have expanded California's MediCal Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) Program by:
There are an estimated 3 million LGBT older adults in the US; by 2030, that number will double. Some of those individuals will become residents of assisted living communities, while still others will require a stay in a skilled nursing facility. Over the last 10 years, California legislatures have enacted three statutes fostering LGBTQIA cultural competency for workers in long-term care settings, and aiming to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Two bills (SB 1729, 2008 and AB 663, 2013) require professionals in California long-term care facilities (skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care and residential care facilities for the elderly [RCFEs]) to receive cultural competency training for the underserved aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Those laws heightened awareness of LGBTQIA issues, but did nothing to stem insidious or blatant discrimination inside long-term care settings.
CARR-sponsored AB 1523, requiring all assisted living facilities in California to carry liability insurance, went into effect 7/1/15. This legislation, co-authored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Member Shirley Weber, closed a 30 year old regulatory gap.
Prior to its passing in August 2015, CARR's research found that approximately 87% of San Diego RCFEs elected to not carry liability insurance, despite caring for frail, dependent seniors. CARR believes this marks a major step forward for consumer protections inside assisted living facilities. CARR encourages seniors and their families to ask for proof of liability insurance when considering a facility for placement.
In 2013, CARR testified before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in support of Chairwoman Jacob and Supervisor Cox’s initiatives to improve the local RCFE industry. CARR also participated in the press conference called by Chairwoman Jacob and District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis to show our support for the creation of an elder abuse task force within the District Attorney's office. Read Chrisy and Chris' words of support: