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Making the case for supporting community-based services provided by area agencies on aging



Please call or send an email to your representatives by this Wednesday, March 27 and urge them to fund the Area Agencies on Aging!



Most older adults want to age in their own homes and communities. The Area Agency on Aging and its partner providers offer a host of services to make it possible for them to do that. These services reduce social isolation and provide nutritious meals, door-to-door transportation, in-home care, free Medicare counseling, caregiver support and more.


Example of the value of Area Agency on Aging services: benefits navigation and application assistance provide needed relief

When Mary fell seriously ill and ended up in a rehab center, she found that the cost nearly wiped out her savings - $11,000 in total for her 30-day stay. For the next two years, she skimped "often doing without what most people consider necessities." As concerns began to grow about the potential of losing her home of more than 30 years, a friend told Mary about Benefits in Action.


"When I called you last year and told you I was especially having trouble paying the Medicare Part B premium, you did a telephone intake and told me that I was eligible not only for relief from that big expense, but also for food assistance, help from LEAP with ever-rising utilities, and free income-tax preparation. Not only did you help me navigate and apply for these benefits, you also set up phone appointments with volunteer experts who answered questions I had about Medicare."


"...it was beyond difficult for me to ask for help, but I remain tremendously grateful for benefits that I did not know were available until Benefits in Action helped me obtain them... I have concluded that it is far less expensive and infinitely more kind for elders like me to be able to stay in their own homes rather than being forced into expensive nursing facilities."

 

Tough choices: Without adequate funding, should older adults have to miss a nutritious meal? Without adequate funding of transportation services, should older adults have to miss a doctor appointment?

 

Colorado’s older adults in peril as funding falls short

Much of the population growth in Colorado will be 60-plus older adults.

  • 2020 to 2030: Colorado will see a 25% increase in 60-plus population while under 60 population grows 7%.

  • 2020 to 2040: Colorado will see a 44% increase in 60-plus population while under 60 population grows 16%.

  • 2020 to 2050: Colorado will see a 65% increase in 60-plus population while under 60 population grows 20%


Budget cliff

  • Demand for services, which has been growing steadily for more than two decades, has accelerated since the pandemic. 

  • Historical funding sources for senior services have not increased since state fiscal year 2019/2020, and accounting for inflation the purchasing power of these funds has declined 20%.

  • Without an influx of new funding, accounting for inflation and the growing older adult population, Colorado area agencies on aging in fiscal year 2024-2025 will be underfunded by $10 million compared to fiscal year 2019-2020.


Save Colorado money by helping older adults stay in their homes with community-based services and out of Medicaid programs

Supporting adequate funding today will allow older adults to age with dignity in their homes, rather than having to face the difficult decision of entering expensive care facilities, which cost both the person and the state significantly more money.


  • Community-based services through DRCOG’s Area Agency on Aging average just $1,097 per person per year.

If Area Agency on Aging services are not available:

  • Medicaid home and community-based services cost $36,547 per person per year.

  • Skilled nursing facilities cost an average of $73,750 per person per year.

 

The inability to shower without help or cook one’s own meals shouldn’t force an older adult out of their house and into a nursing home paid for by Medicaid.



Now is the time to show our support for older adults aging well in our communities.


Please call or send an email to your representatives by this Wednesday, March 27 and urge them to fund the Area Agencies on Aging!


 







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