Public Policy Agenda
San Diego County is home to more than 3 million individuals, of whom 350,000 are persons 65 years and older, 11.4% of the total population. Approximately 500,700 individuals 60+ were living in San Diego in 2010.
The growth rate for older persons will continue to accelerate as the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) turn 60 years of age. Between 2010 and 2050, older age cohorts in the San Diego Region are expected to increase by 118.3% for the 60+ group, 145.8% for those 65+, 186.7% for persons 75+ and 244.6% for those 85 and older. These age groups have the highest likelihood of being impacted by functional disabilities and chronic conditions. They also represent the greatest challenge for the Senior Alliance partners to serve effectively in order to allow those able to age in place for as long as possible.
The San Diego Senior Alliance is a group of 20 distinct organizations which collectively serve 63,000 seniors, with a combined annual budget of $277,400,000. They employ 2,840 individuals and have more than 30,000 volunteers. Some of the organizations have been in place for more than 100 years and together they have more than 1,000 years of history providing services for seniors. Representatives from elected officials’ offices have also participated in the Alliance meetings. Successes for the group include legislative lobbying on issues as broad as food insecurity, Food Stamps/CalFresh, Older Americans Act reauthorization, and the Elder Economic Index.
The Senior Alliance is part of The SCAN Foundation’s Community of Constituents initiative, building a statewide movement to transform the system of care so that all Californians can age with dignity, choice and independence.
The scope of services provided by the membership of the San Diego Senior Alliance is appended in an easy to read spreadsheet format.
Our 2013 priorities include:
A. Participation in the implementation of the Dual Eligible Demonstration/Coordinated Care Initiative
The County of San Diego and many of the Senior Alliance partners have worked for 13 years to develop integrated care models for older adults and persons with disabilities, beginning with the passage of AB 1040 in 1995. With County Board of Supervisors’ support, more than $750,000 in funding has been received to plan for and promote long term care integration from the State Department of Health Care Services as well as from the California Department on Aging, the County of San Diego, the California Endowment and from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation. Over the past 13 years, more than 800 stakeholders, spending more than 30,000 hours, have helped to envision and recommend a better model of care for low income seniors and persons with disabilities in our community. More information on the efforts undertaken by the partners can be found at: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/ltcip/index.html.
With this lengthy history of planning and with a strong belief that a better system of care can be created, the San Diego community was viewed by the State as a key environment to implement the Dual Eligible Demonstration Project. In April 2012, the San Diego community received word that they were selected as one of the four counties to initiate implementation of this pilot project.
Efforts taken by Senior Alliance members since that date have included the following:
Future strategic efforts the Senior Alliance will be involved in to include the following:
B. Advocate for the Inclusion of the Principles of Person-Centered Care and the Five Pillars of System Transformation in the Design of the Coordinated Care Initiative and in Other Appropriate Arenas
The five pillars of systems transformation will be integral parts of the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) and some of them (the creation of a Universal Assessment form) are called out as specific deliverables in the CCI legislation for California. The Senior Alliance will assist with focusing the discussion on these pillars through the following activities:
Efforts we are Watching
Other issues are of great importance to the Senior Alliance members including the following: