Date: July 11, 2017 | Category: News
The Care Connection delegation of the Silver Haired Legislature has named as its top two priorities a dedicated funding stream for services for older Missourians and increased monies for meals for seniors.
The No. 1 proposal, the establishment of a Senior Services Growth and Development Fund, was an idea first brought to the General Assembly by the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging last session.
The goal is to address the growth in senior population and the dip in funding for senior programs. The measure was not brought to a vote by the General Assembly.
The fund would be used by the area agencies on aging for enhancing senior services. The proposal would not require a tax increase.
The No. 2 Care Connection SHL priority would increase by $3 million the money allocated for meals served in senior center dining rooms and delivered to the homebound.
The increase would help cover rising costs of purchasing food, replacing equipment, meeting operating expenses, and finding volunteers and/or staff to deliver home-delivered meals.
The Care Connection delegation will meet with its counterparts in Jefferson City in October to debate and vote on statewide priorities to be presented to the Legislature in 2018.
The Silver Haired Legislature is an advisory body of citizens ages 60 or older who volunteer to advocate for Missouri’s older adults.
The 150 delegates are elected from each of Missouri’s 10 area agencies on aging. They meet in a model legislative session at the State Capitol in October to name their priorities.
Here are five alternative proposals of the Care Connection SHL delegation:
•Restoration of the Missouri Rx program for those with Medicare only. This proposal would reauthorize the MoRx program to include those with Medicare only for another three years. Some 64,000 people lost their coverage when it was not reauthorized.
•Elder abuse awareness training. The proposal calls the state to require two hours of training for all new peace officer recruits to cover adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as the role of peace officers as mandated reporters to the state elder abuse hotline.
•Financial assistance to seniors for medically-necessary hearing aid devices, vision services, and dental care through MO HealthNet (Medicaid). Most Medicare and Medicaid plans exclude coverage of hearing aids and dentures.
•The return of money recovered from MO HealthNet for overcharges to the MO HealthNet program rather than the state’s General Revenue fund.
•Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. This proposal would provide matching money for the USDA Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) to help provide seniors with nutritious food at an affordable price.
Care Connection for Aging Services is a non-profit area agency on aging serving 23 locations in 13 counties in West Central Missouri, including Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon. Its mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences. For more information, call 1-800-748-7826.
Here is a list of the Silver-Haired Legislature membership:
Shirley D. Ross, of Lexington, (Region 1) represents Lafayette, Carroll, Chariton and Saline
Nancy Maxwell, of Holden (Region 2) represents Johnson, Pettis, Henry and Benton
Judith Ball, of Adrian (Region 3) represents Hickory, Bates, Cedar, Vernon and St. Clair counties.
Edith Dilley, of Butler, represents Bates County.
Cynthia Smith, of Warsaw, represents Benton County.
Donald Brockmeier, of Carrollton, represents Carroll County.
Larry Pursley, of Stockton, represents Cedar County.
Pamelia Tietjens, of Brunswick, represents Chariton County.
Larry Steinhauser, of Clinton, represents Henry County.
William V. Arnold, of Preston, represents Hickory and St. Clair counties.
Dee Kerr, of Warrensburg, represents Johnson County.
Sue Foster, of LaMonte, represents Pettis County.
Elaine Bagnell, of Blackburn, represents Saline County.
Marlene Moran, of Sheldon, represents Vernon County.
The representative seat in Lafayette County is vacant.