Long-Term Care Leaders Convene at Caring Across Generations Meeting
On June 15, Caring Across Generations convened a meeting of the nation’s leaders in the long-term care field. Discussions focused on ways to improve access to services, support family caregivers, and provide high quality jobs to paid caregivers.
PHI Director of Federal Affairs Daniel Rutherford Wilson facilitated a panel on ways to improve long-term care systems through federal programs. In his opening remarks, Wilson drew attention to Personal and Home Care Aide State Training Program (PHCAST) projects completed from 2010 to 2012. Panelists discussed numerous state-level innovations, including a consumer portal in Minnesota that would work similarly to Yelp, and Mass Options, a resource to help consumers find services in Massachusetts.
Wilson facilitated a second session with Samantha Abrams from Black Women’s Health Imperative to address the unique challenges to caregiving for black Americans. Participants described how cultural norms dissuade family caregivers in the black community from seeking additional support, both in terms of professional assistance for their loved ones and mental health assistance for themselves.
Accessible Long-Term Care
In her opening remarks, Ai-jen Poo (pictured above), Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of Caring Across Generations, addressed the lack of affordable, accessible long-term care insurance coverage for older adults. Inaccessible coverage forces many older adults to access state-funded Medicaid by spending down their assets until they reach state-defined poverty thresholds.
A panel on innovation and progress in states explored solutions to this problem. Pete Subkoviak of Washingtonians for a Responsible Future spoke on a state-sponsored study of policy reform options to help make long-term care more accessible and affordable. Ben Chin with the Maine People’s Alliance described a proposal to create a system of providing state-funded child care and eldercare. State Senator Rosalyn Baker (D-HI) described efforts in her state to provide publicly funded long-term care insurance.
PHI will continue to work with leaders in the long-term care field to formulate recommendations for an affordable, accessible long-term care system. Expansion of the state-supported long-term care system will present new opportunities to ensure quality home care jobs.
— by Stephen Campbell, PHI Policy Research Associate