2017 CO-AGE Priorities
CO-AGE has a very democratic process for choosing its annual priorities. Issues are called for immediately following the legislative session and are submitted through the end of May. They are reviewed to ensure they meet a basic criteria: (1) impacts seniors, (2) legislation or budget could solve problem, (3) and issue is statewide. Issue summaries are emailed to the CO-AGE members one month in advance of the voting period. Voting occurs at the end of July for a two week period immediately following the July CO-AGE meeting in which all issues are presented by their submitters or representatives. The Coalition has voted and their choices for the 2017 Session are listed below.
This year CO-AGE members chose this important budget ask of $10 million for transportation services. The request emphasizes the huge need for creative and flexible transportation options for seniors who can no longer drive. This is often cited as one of the greatest challenges in aging services. Work groups for this issue will begin meeting soon. Read the Fact Sheet. Watch the video.
Funding for HCBS:
CO-AGE's perennial issue is to increase funding of Home and Community Based Services. These services help people to remain in their home & community as they age and they cost the state less money! This funding campaign is known as "End the Wait" to many due to the long waiting lists typically found in each region for these services. The End the Wait work group has already started meeting to work on this year's strategy for this important issue. Read the Fact Sheet.
Family Care Act
This issue obviously resonates with many in our state as it was chosen by our coalition again this year. The Family Care Act would enable people to use their earned sick time to care for loved ones. Workers who currently have access to paid sick days through their employer could use those days for the illness or injury of a child, spouse or parent. As our population ages, increasing numbers of seniors will need to rely on employed caregivers - adult children, spouse or other family members - to accompany them to medical appointments and provide care when they are ill. Read the Fact Sheet. Watch the video.
Oral Health Care for Seniors
According to the CDC State of Oral Health Survey, 2013, the disparities between dental care for residents of long term care facilities, home-bound and non-institutionalized adults is tremendous. Sadly, these disparities put the elderly at a greater risk for oral health problems, such as periodontal disease, untreated cavities, tooth loss, oral cancer and malnutrition. Legislation for less restrictive dental hygiene practice acts in private practice and expanded "Safety-net" settings would allow greater access to the public at large for preventative and therapeutic dental hygiene services. Read the Fact Sheet. Watch the video.
Abuser Registry to Prevent Abuse
The first step of this effort was completed during the 2016 Legislative session with the passage of HB 1037. Both Senator Renee Unterman and Representative Sharon Cooper committed to sub-committees in each of the committees they chair to look at this issue in more detail and develop potential legislation in 2017 , therefore this was a carryover issue from the 2016 CO-AGE priorities. The expansion of the CNA Registry was an important first step and we look forward to working on this issue further during the 2017 Session. Read the Fact Sheet. Watch the Abuser Registry Wrap Up Video from last session.