AgeNet senior providers network lists legislative priorities
March 1, 2021 | View PDF
Nearly 40 agencies across Alaska are members of AgeNet. Members provide services for seniors in local communities and in seniors’ homes to help them maintain their independent living and improve their health and quality of life. Services include nutritious meals, adult day centers, transportation, exercise classes, in-home care, case management, and meaningful support for unpaid family caregivers. AgeNet members serve over 18,000 Older Alaskans every year.
AgeNet members urge the following action during the 2021 Session of the Alaska Legislature:
Protect funding for senior “home and community-based (HCB) services” which prevent or delay costly institutional care. According to the State of Alaska Continuum of Care, the cost for one senior to stay in a nursing home is $156,956 per year, compared to only $509 per year for HCB Grant services or $35,846 for senior HCB Medicaid Waiver Services. To keep up with Alaska’s increasing senior population (which has fastest rate of growth of any state in the nation), it is imperative to increasingly invest in HCB services.
Further develop services for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementia (ADRD). Today an estimated 12,500 Alaskans over the age of 65 live with dementia. By 2030 that number is expected to nearly double to 23,900. AgeNet supports meeting their needs with greater flexibility in availability of services offered under the Medicaid 1915(k) option. We support the emerging residential alternatives for Alaskans living with dementia in addition to other complex behavioral conditions, like that in development at the Anchorage Pioneer Home. We support increased public awareness campaigns to educate Alaskans about the benefits of early diagnosis, as emphasized in the ADRD State Plan.
Support funding for transportation. Older Alaskans depend on transportation providers to access the senior center for lunch, the adult day program, the store, the doctor, church, etc. The Human Services Grant program through Alaska DOT offers funding for replacement vans and operating assistance for local providers. This year, the Governor’s budget includes $1 million in GFMH and $300,000 in AMHTA funds for this program. This priority also advocates for the Alaska Marine Highway which is a lifeline for elders needing medical care and service providers who depend on it to access supplies and vehicle maintenance.
For information on AgeNet, contact Marianne Mills, AgeNet president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-723-0226.