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AARP React to Governor’s Recommended Budget for the Department of Human Services Aging & Disability Services

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SALEM, February 19, 2015 -- AARP Oregon is working to ensure people can live in their homes and communities for as long as possible by advocating for more resources and services to assist those who not only need care but those who provide care, especially family caregivers.

But, the Governor’s Recommended Budget does not look at the future needs and projected increases in the senior population especially as more Oregonians are and will live well in to their 80’s.

“There are steps Oregon can take to help ease the anxieties we will face at some point in our lives in either providing or receiving ongoing care,” said Jon Bartholomew, director of Government Affairs for AARP Oregon.  “Oregon should be striving to make it easier for older people to live with independence and remain in their homes and communities for as long as they can.

AARP recommends to increase the Governor’s Recommended Budget by $28 million.

  • Continue training for family and professional caregivers - $3.3 million
  • Continue the  Oregon Project Independence Pilot Project to serve younger disabled individuals - $6 million
  • Continue evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention - $1.25 million
  • Cost-of-living adjustments for home and community based care providers and in home caregivers of long term care services and supports - $13.84 million
  • Recruitment and workforce development of care workers - $2 million
  • Senior property tax deferral (including wait-listed individuals) - $1.6 million

The greatest need for LTC is among those ages 85+. Their numbers in Oregon will grow from 80,959 in 2010 to 121,741 in 2022. While the Boomers born between 1946-1964 are creating a dramatic shift in population, the major waves of significantly increased needs will hit around 2030. Investing now in maintaining and growing our LTC system makes sense and will prepare Oregon for our aging citizens.

Preserving long-term care services is the right thing to do, and it’s extremely cost effective. Oregon’s population is aging, and our long-term care (LTC) system is not keeping up with the needs of our residents. Our community-based system that was created 35 years ago is a model for the nation. It was designed to honor the independence, choice and dignity of seniors and people with disabilities by supporting home and community-based care alternatives.

 

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