CO-AGE Issues for 2020 Legislative Session
CO-AGE is a vehicle for bringing broad-based input on aging issues from across the state to the attention of the General Assembly. Every July, CO-AGE members vote to prioritize issues to bring to Georgia’s elected officials.
The Issues for 2020 are:
Perennial Issue: Home and Community Based Services
Amount: $10 million
Home and Community Based Services provide support for older Georgians to remain at home as long as possible by providing home modifications, personal assistance, meals, transportation, and other services. These services cost far less than staying at a nursing home and can help seniors stay independent longer. Check back later for more detailed information on HCBS needs.
Behavioral Health and Housing
Amount: $750,000-$1.5 Million
Some public housing residents have behavioral health issues that make community living difficult for themselves or other residents. Without access to other options, some of these individuals move into higher levels of care unnecessarily (such as personal care homes or nursing homes) and some become homeless. Funding would be used to expand a current pilot to meet the behavioral health needs of older adults living in affordable housing sites.
Older Adult Transportation
Transportation is needed for older adults across many rural areas of Georgia. House Bill 511 would help put the necessary resources together to help those who have local travel needs like doctor appointments, grocery store trips and other reasons.
Options for Senior Living
There is a lack of affordable housing for persons needing help with activities of daily living, such as meals, medication, dressing, bathing. Options for Senior Living would provide lower cost housing alternatives to older Georgians who do not need a nursing home level of care.
Personal Care Home Requirements
Personal Care Home providers do not always comply with licensure and code enforcement. Fines and sanctions should be increased to provide more meaningful penalties. Increased transparency by the state in reporting violations is also needed to keep older Georgians protected.