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Mary Edwards for a
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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

Fact Sheet

North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature

2014 Legislative Priorities

  1. Funding for HCCBG. STHL shall urge the NC General Assembly to appropriate additional recurring funds of at least $7 million to meet the needs of the rapidly growing older adult population and the coming tsunami of baby boomers over the next 20+ years.
    • The age 60+ population is projected to grow by 57% by 2030 when the youngest baby boomer will be age 66
    • We are rapidly falling behind providing needed services given the stagnant current funding levels.
    • Home and Community based services support services that help impaired older adults stay in their homes longer where they are happiest, and at less public cost.
    • There are approximately 16,000 people currently on the waiting list for Home and Community Care Block Grant services.
  2. Maintain funding for senior centers.: Senior centers provide programs and services that enhance the health and wellness of older adults and support their efforts to remain independent. The 160 senior centers currently in operation or under development serve 96 counties. Maintaining funding would enable those senior centers to continue their services to meet the needs of a growing population of older adults.
  3. Restore Funding to Sustain Project C.A.R.E.: Hailed as innovative and cost effective, Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty) was designed and tested in North Carolina. It has become a national best practice model for providing respite services to family members who are caring at home for a relative with Alzheimers Disease or related dementia. The number of North Carolinians afflicted with these dementias, now approximately 170,000, will continue to rise. When families are helped to keep loved ones at home longer, less time may be required for any institutional care. Resulting savings in public funds are substantial. We recommend that sufficient recurring funds be provided to extend Project C.A.R.E. to all 100 counties by July 1, 2015 or as soon thereafter as practicable.
  4. Ratio of CNAs to Residents in Nursing Homes. In a nursing home, the quality of care each resident receives is largely dependent upon the one-on-one care provided by CNAs. Studies have shown that facilities with a higher CNA staffing ratio have fewer health care deficiencies, lower hospitalization rates and fewer government citied deficiencies. The health and safety of residents is compromised when the facility is understaffed. Residents are at a higher risk of receiving poor care and being victims of abuse when the staff is unable to respond adequately to patient needs. We urge the General Assembly to mandate an increase in the Standardized HPPD (hours per patient daily) thereby requiring a higher CNA staffing ratio be established to ensure a better quality of care for residents in Nursing Homes.
  5. Strengthen and fund North Carolina’s Adult Protective Services Program. The Adult Protective Services (APS) program must be strengthened and funded to respond to North Carolina’s rapidly growing aging population. We recommend that the General Assembly appropriate funds to assess proposed changes to the APS statutes. This should include the implementation of the Vulnerable Adult Protection System (VAPS) for the state and re-instate $2 million in the state budget to meet the growing need for Adult Protective Services in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature was created by the North Carolina General Assembly with the passage of Senate Bill 479 in July of 1993.

The Senior Tar Heel Legislature was created to:

  • Provide information to senior citizens on the legislative process and matters being considered by the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • Promote citizen involvement and advocacy concerning aging issues before the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • Assess the legislative needs of older citizens by convening a forum modeled after the North Carolina General Assembly.

Each of the 100 North Carolina counties is entitled to one delegate to the Senior Tar Heel Legislature. Most counties also have an alternate delegate. Delegates and alternates must be age 60 or older. The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services provide staff support for the Senior Tar Heel Legislature in cooperation with the 16 Area Agencies on Aging, which are responsible for conducting the selection of delegates and alternates.

Mary Edwards of the Division of Aging and Adult Services is the principal staff aide and can be contacted at Mary.Edwards@dhhs.nc.gov.

For more information about the North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature, please contact your county’s Delegate or Alternate or the following members:

Speaker Speaker Pro Tempore
Chuck Youse
Northampton County
197 Hutcheson Drive
Henrico, NC 27845
Dr. Althea Taylor-Jones
Forsyth County
1469 Country Meadow Lane
Kernersville, NC 27284
 
Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore Secretary
Marge Zima
Onslow County
574 Rhodestown Road
Jacksonville, NC 28540
George E. Smith
Johnston County
137 Trillium Way
Clayton, NC 27527

 

 

Last updated June 17, 2014

 

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Supporting Fact Sheets
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Adult Protective Services

Home and Community
Care Block Grant

Project C.A.R.E

Senior Centers

CNA Staffing in
Nursing Facilities