Aging and Disability
Home and Community Based Services for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
Support maintaining funding for home and community-based services, nutrition, transportation, in-home, chore and companion services, that help people live in their own homes and seek to increase these services in the 2010-2012 biennial budget. (Revises and reaffirms previous position.)
Home and Community-Based Services – such as personal care, home-delivered meals, transportation, care coordination, and adult day/respite care – provided by the Commonwealth’s twenty-five Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) save Virginia tax-payers money while helping older Virginians function independently, keep them in the least restrictive setting of their choice, build on family support, decrease the risk of inappropriate institutionalization, and improve life satisfaction. In addition, chore and companion services are funded locally and by the Virginia Department for Social Services and assist eligible older adults and adults with disabilities with activities of daily living (bathing and housekeeping).
Support an increase in the current monthly rate of $1,112 for auxiliary grants, with a 15 percent differential for the higher costs of facilities in Planning District 8, and support the elimination of the local 20 percent match. (Revises and reaffirms previous position.)
The auxiliary grants program supplements the income of eligible older adults and adults with disabilities, to pay for care in licensed, safe, assisted living facilities (ALFs), avoiding more expensive and restrictive institutional care or worse, avoiding homelessness or unsafe, unhealthy housing. In the County, the average cost of an ALF is $2000 per month; the cost is higher for private ALFs in the region. Any reductions in auxiliary grant rates would impact the housing of people living in ALFs.
Support additional direct state General Fund support for Department of Rehabilitation Services programs for 1000 individuals statewide on an annual basis (these individuals are not eligible for Medicaid funded services). (Revises and reaffirms previous position.)
Virginia’s highly restrictive Medicaid eligibility requirements preclude many low-income Virginians with intellectual disabilities from receiving much needed services. In Fairfax County, this is particularly true for young adults just graduating from high school. State resources are needed to assist this vulnerable population.
Disability Services Board (DSB)
Support reinstatement of state funding sufficient to enable every locality, either singly or regionally, to have a Disability Services Board (DSB), so that the key provisions of §51.5-48 can be implemented. (New Position.)
Key provisions include the ability to assess local service needs and advise state and local agencies of their findings; to serve as a catalyst for the development of public and private funding sources; and to exchange information with other local boards regarding services to persons with physical and sensory disabilities and best practices in the delivery of those services. Without such a network of local representatives with expertise in these issues, the opportunity for valuable statewide collaboration will be lost.