The total population of Kansas is 2.904 million and 6.064 in Missouri. In contrast, the population of those age 65 and older in California is 5.1 million. When you put the numbers into perspective, that is a lot of senior citizens in the Golden State.
That also means there are a lot of folks who need or likely will need some form of long-term care and other assistance.
Projected resources are not sufficient to meet the need.
And that care needs to be reliable and safe.
According to a recent report by the Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long Term Care, A Shattered System: Reforming Long-Term Care in California, “[r]eliance upon our existing patchwork of programs and services to serve our growing aging and disabled population will result in unnecessary expenditures, inequitable access, and irrelevant services”.
A recent article in The (Crestline CA) Alpenhorn News, titled “Legislative protection for seniors,” notes that California is attempting to get out in front of this.
Just last fall California passed AB 1899. It required any licensee found to have abandoned residents of a residential care facility to be permanently banned from operating facilities in the state.
Also, California legislators passed AJR 29 in 2014. This bill asked for the restoration of federal funding for senior nutrition programs that was reduced by federal cuts, as well as to exempt these programs from future budget cuts.
The federal government’s reply to this request has been stalled.
Now state legislators are considering AB1122, the “Excluded Persons Administrative Action List,” or “EPAAL” legislation.
It requires the state’s Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) to publish online all persons who are excluded from owning, operating, and/or working inside any licensed care facility as a result of an Administrative Law proceeding.
The original article notes that there is no current mandatory requirement for DSS/CCL to refer elder neglect, abuse, or other egregious behaviors against seniors residing in assisted living facilities to law enforcement.
Consequently, few of these crimes are prosecuted.
However, through Administrative Law proceedings, DSS/CCL can permanently or temporarily prohibit a person from working in a licensed care facility.
The object of the current bill is to provide convenient, online access to EPAAL, allowing everyone to verify that caregivers and the employees do not have a prior history of behaviors which endangered the health or safety of a senior.
California tends to be a leading indicator in many ways, good and not so good.
Keep an eye on California and trends within your own state when it comes to senior services.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: The (Crestline CA) Alpenhorn News (June 19, 2015) “Legislative protection for seniors”