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NC Coalition On Aging Priorities

The Coalition develops legislative priorities to address pressing needs facing older North Carolinians. Issues are studied and debated by Coalition members at membership meetings and each year, prior to the convening of the state legislative session, a legislative agenda is established. The Coalition typically has a Legislative Advocacy Day in the spring to meet with state legislators to share our priority issues.

CONTACT INFO

NC Coalition on Aging
P.O. Box 12762
Raleigh, NC 27605

General Inquiries
info@nccoalitiononaging.org

Coalition Executive Director - Mary Bethel
executivedirector@nccoalitiononaging.org

2018 Legislative Priorities ...

  • Increase the recurring state funding for the Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG) by $7 million.
    • The Block Grant, which is the primary funding source for non-Medicaid funded services to help older adults remain independent and living in the community, combines federal and state dollars and local matching funds.
    • The state is losing ground in its efforts to help frail older adults in the community through the Block Grant with waiting lists growing and fewer individuals being served each year. In January of 2018 there were 10,935 seniors on waiting lists for services.
    • An appropriation of $7 million would make a huge impact: The waiting list could be reduced by approximately one-third. Most impacted would be high demand services such as home delivered meals and in-home aide services.
  • Increase state funding and support for adult protective services (APS) and public guardianship services and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of these services.
    • APS and guardianship services are mandated core services provided by county departments of social services to some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
    • In recent years, there has been a major increase in the need for APS and guardianship services. In 2009, there were 17,073 reported cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults. This number increased to 27,483 reported cases in SFY 16-17. The need for publically funded guardians has more than doubled over the past decade, with 6,885 adults having publically funded guardians during SFY 16-17.
    • In SFY 16-17, approximately $23.5 million was expended on APS. Funding was 3% state, 79% county, and 18% federal. In SFY 16-17, approximately $21.8 million was spent on public guardianship - 3% state funds, 61% county, and 36% federal.
    • There are growing challenges as the number of APS and guardianship cases increase and many counties are struggling to find the money to provide needed services.
    • The APS and guardianship statutes have not had significant review and change in decades to reflect the changing needs of the population intended to be served.
  • In order to better support direct care workers and help reduce worker turnover, invest in the Medicaid Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults(CAP-DA) programs by increasing the reimbursement rate from $13.88 per hour to the national average of $18.82.
    • The Medicaid reimbursement rate for CAP-DA is the same today as it was in 2001.
    • The General Assembly increased the Medicaid Personal Care Services rate to $15.52 per hour in the last legislative session but did not increase the CAP-DA rate.
    • Most of the reimbursement rate goes to pay for personal care aides who provide direct care such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals to those receiving CAP-DA. Wages for aides are low and getting lower with the average wage for an aide in the state being $9.18 per hour.
    • A stagnant reimbursement rate presents significant challenges in aide recruitment and retention which compromises the stability of our long-term care system.
  • Pass legislation that will support working family caregivers and help to keep them in the workforce.
    • There are over 1.28 million family caregivers in the state providing care to an adult with limitations in daily activities.
    • Families provide at least 80% of all care services needed to help older relatives live in their homes. They are the backbone of our long-term care system.
    • More than 60% of family caregivers work, and of this number approximately 70% report making work accommodations because of caregiving. Over 10% say they have to give up work entirely in order to care for their relative.

To download a handout on the priorities, CLICK HERE.

Key Facts about Aging in North Carolina

  • North Carolina remains in the midst of a significant demographic change as the state's 2.4 million baby boomers (persons born between 1946-1964) have begun to enter the retirement age.
  • In 2013, 1 in 5 were age 60 and over in the state. In 2033, 1 in 4 will be age 60 and over.
  • In the next two decades, 75-84 will be the fastest aging group of persons age 65 and older. After 2030, the fastest aging group will be persons age 85 and older.
  • By 2018, the state as a whole will have more population 60 and over than age 0-17.

2017 Legislative Priorities and Action Taken by the General Assembly (noted in red) below ...

  • Increase the recurring state funding for the Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG) by $7 million. $967,549 in non-recurring funding was appropriated for each year of the biennium.
  • Establish a joint legislative committee to examine issues pertaining to the state’s growing older adult population, including health care and financial security, and to make recommendations on how the state can better support North Carolinians to age with dignity. A special provision was included in the budget bill that calls on the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services to consider appointing a subcommittee on aging to examine the state’s delivery of services for older adults in order to determine their needs and to make recommendations on how to address these needs. The leadership of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee established a subcommittee on aging in October of 2017. Subcommittee chairs are Rep. Josh Dobson (R - Avery, McDowell, and Mitchell) and Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R - Forsyth and Yadkin).
  • Increase state funding and support for adult protective services (APS) and guardianship services and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of these services.
  • In order to better support direct care workers and help reduce worker turnover, invest in Medicaid Personal Care Services (PCS) and Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults(CAP-DA) programs by increasing the reimbursement rate over a two year period from $13.88 per hour to the national average of $18.82. Funding was appropriated to increase the Personal Care Services rate as well as the CAP-Children hourly rate to $15.52 per hour.
  • Pass legislation that will support working family caregivers and help to keep them in the workforce.

...Read More

2016 Legislative Priorities ...

  • Increase state funding for the Home and Community Care Block Grant by $2 million to help address the waiting list for services to help older adults stay in their homes.
  • Pass House Bill 816 (Study the Needs of Working Caregivers).
  • Appropriate $2 million in state funding for adult protective services.
  • Pass House Bill 817 (An Act Enacting the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceeding Jurisdiction Act of 2015).
  • Establish a North Carolina Study Commission on Aging as a vehicle for research and action regarding legislation pertaining to older adults.

...Read More

2015 Legislative Priorities ...

  • Restore $969,549 State Appropriation in Home and Community Care Block Grant ... Read More
  • Promote Legislation Supporting Family Caregivers
     ... Read More
  • Preserve Medicaid Eligibility and Services for Older and Disabled Adults ... Read More
  • Restore $2,000,000 state appropriation in Adult Protective Services Fund ... Read More
  • Improve NC's Ability to Address Interstate Guardianship Transfer ... Read More

Status of 2015 Legislative Priorities ...

NC General Assembly Adjourns 2015 Session — More Coalition work to be done in 2016. For status of 2015 Coalition legislative priorities...

...Read More

Aging Demographics

According to U.S. Census Bureau data from July 2010, the population of persons over age 65 (both men and women) was 1.2 million people. Among them were 148,879 people over age 85. Since 2010, the age 65 and over population has been steadily increasing with the fastest growth in the over age 85 population. In July 2013 there were 1,407,155 people over the age of 65 with 165,213 over age 85. The most recent data from July 2014 demonstrates a continuation of this trend in the future. In 2014, North Carolina's population was 9.9 million and the population over age 65 accounted for over 14% of the state's population with 1,463,362 over age 65 and 170,000 over age 85.

...Read More From American Fact Finders

Since 2013, 1 in 5 adults in North Carolina was over age 60. By 2033, it will be 1 in 4 adults. By 2018, people over age 60 will account for a greater portion of the state's population than people under age 18. It is projected that in 2033 that 96 of North Carolina's 100 counties will have more people over age 65 than people between the age of 0-17; the fastest growth in the over age 65 population is projected in Wake (156%), Hoke (143%), and Union (140%).

..Read More From Mental Health of America