Overwhelming, we prefer to age at homes if our health allows it so we can maintain connections with friends, loved ones, and communities, plus it costs significantly less.
Right now, Granite State family caregivers struggle to find in-home care for loved ones when they need it because we have a fragmented hodgepodge of services that are underfunded, uncoordinated, and it's much more likely that we'll end up in a costly nursing home. Our parents, spouses, and loved ones deserve better.
New Hampshire ranks 50th in terms of state spending for long-term care services. We can do better, and given New Hampshire’s rapidly aging population, we need to figure this out. Whereas NH spends only 14% on HCBS, the New England average is 36%, and the national average is 45%.
High-quality, affordable, in-home care is a priority for AARP New Hampshire and we will work tirelessly this legislative session to advocate for the Systems of Care for Healthy Aging Bill (SB 36).
We are grateful to these elected officials who are sponsoring the SB 36:
William Gannon (R-Sandown), David Watters (D-Dover), Lou D'Allesandro (D-Manchester), Kevin Avard (R-Nashua), Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfboro), Denise Ricciardi (R-Bedford), Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua), Rebecca Whitley (D-Hopkinton), Ruth Ward (R-Stoddard), Howard Pearl (R-Loudon), Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth), Deborah Hobson (R-District 14, Rockingham).
They know we need a true, high-functioning system that enables people to age in their homes by providing a range of services, from help with daily activities such as grocery shopping and bathing, to nursing visits, and to higher levels of care as health deteriorates.
We must seize this opportunity to fix our failing system before the state falls further into crisis. AARP New Hampshire is working with the Alzheimer’s Association, Ascentria Care Alliance, New Futures, New Hampshire Alliance for Healthy Aging, and New Hampshire Legal Assistance to tackle this serious dilemma.
This bill would make great strides toward creating a system of long-term services and supports in New Hampshire that makes it more feasible for people to receive care at home.
Here some examples of what this bill would accomplish:
- Provide more affordable options for in-home care.
- Rebalance our system to serve more individuals in less costly and preferred community alternatives.
- Increase rates paid to caregivers for such services.
- Expedite access to Medicaid funding for services.
- Make applications more user friendly.
- Adjust for inflation reimbursement rates for such service.
- Provide assistance to obtain timely information about finding services.
- Create a system for investigating and resolving complaints
We don’t think about a care plan until crisis strikes, but the reality is that 70% of Americans 65 and older will require assistance as they age. Our current, broken system is not acceptable so we will fight on to ensure people 50-plus can find the care they and their loved ones need, when and where they want it.
We must make high-quality, affordable, in-home care a priority. AARP NH will work tirelessly this year to make that a reality.
For AARP resources about caregiving at home, please click here. For New Hampshire specific resources, please click here.