Sue Poucher, 64, is a Navy veteran from Michigan who joined the paid workforce at age 18, and left it in April 2014, due to a lack of job openings in her field, retail sales. She was one of 200 people who attended a daylong conference in Sacramento Oct. 15. The gathering, called “Tomorrow’s California: New Visions for Retirement Security,” focused on the release of a new report on aging, economics, public resources and policy solutions.
“I get Cal-Fresh, live in U.S. Housing and Urban Development subsidized senior housing and rely solely on my $943 monthly Social Security check,” Poucher told Capital & Main at the conference. “When food prices go up, what are you supposed to do, not eat?”
The Sacramento resident has no savings to fall back on,
The ongoing battle to restore the seven percent cut in IHSS hours provides a microcosm of the problems involved in fixing the long-term health care system in California for its most vulnerable clients.
This past January the state Senate’s Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, chaired by Senator Carol Liu, issued a report titled, A Shattered System: Reforming Long-Term Care in California. Its authors concluded that seniors, the disabled, their families, caregivers and state and local governments suffer from a “costly and fragmented, ‘non-system’ of long-term care services and supports.”
After a year-long program of research and hearings, the committee determined that continued reliance upon the existing patchwork of programs and services for the state’s growing aged and disabled population will result in “unnecessary expenditures,
Thousands of aging and disabled Californians, along with their home care providers, have been on edge to see if a seven percent cut in home care services will be restored in the state budget, as Jim Crogan details for Capital & Main. But this year’s tug-of-war at the margins of the state budget is just a foreshadowing of serious struggles to come over the next 15 years as a tidal wave of new seniors changes the face of our state.
Despite California’s falling birth rates, the state’s population has grown faster and stayed younger than the country on average, thanks to immigration. But the outsized numbers of baby boomers has begun to outweigh those moving in, and it will leave us with a much older population.