A study published by the AARP Public Policy Institute, Health Management Associates and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities takes a look at long-term services and supports programs, state by state. If you are outside California, you may want to take a look at the study to see what is going on in your state.
At Support For Home, we operate within California, so we are including a few data points for demand and supply for services here.
The first and most obvious point is that California State revenue for the last two years (and projected for 2011) is down dramatically from 2008.
- 2009 down $16B
- 2010 down $10.6B
- 2011 projected down $9.9B
The result is obvious. Programs funded by State revenues get whacked, not just in the area of services to elders, but across the board.
Of 41 different programs reviewed in the study, only 1 saw an increase in expenditures in 2009-2010 — Family Caregiver Support. You can find out about that program on the State of California Website. One fact that keeps this program afloat is the funding it receives from the U.S. Administration on Aging.
Of the 41 programs in the study, however, 18 grew in terms of demand during 2009-2010. Need grew, but funding did not. The population continues to age, but we are unable to afford the programs they need.
This is a situation that will not be rectified simply by an improving economy and higher State revenues. Fundamental decisions and prioritization face us on the issues of support for our elders, not just in California, but across the country.
Best wishes, Bert