ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Minnesota legislators who are chairing key committees on aging services outlined their plans for payment and quality care reform during the 2015 session. This announcement coincided with the launch of a new public engagement campaign by Minnesota's two largest aging services organizations, entitled "Face Aging MN."
Senator Tony Lourey (DFL – Kerrick) and Representative Joe Schomacker (R – Luverne) announced they will introduce a bill this week that stabilizes funding for care services and better aligns public payments with actual costs of care, as well as eliminates some of the inconsistencies with reimbursement for in-home and community care. Other legislation this session is expected to address recruiting and retaining caregivers, rewarding efficiencies and quality improvement programs at care facilities, improve technology usage in health care for seniors, and help seniors and their families better financially plan for senior care.
"We are thrilled that these legislators, along with many of their colleagues, echo our vision to provide all aging Minnesotans with the care they need to preserve their quality of life for as long as possible," said Patti Cullen, President/CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota. "This is a shared responsibility between families, caregivers and the State of Minnesota, and we appreciate the strong reform-minded direction of the Legislature."
Gayle Kvenvold, President/CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota added, "The framework for this agenda revolves around several key beliefs. First is the belief that older adults should live independently for as long as they are able. Second, families should work with their health care professionals to plan for the future so their loved ones will receive a continuum of quality care as they grow older. Finally, the State of Minnesota should guarantee that all aging Minnesotans will receive safe and quality care from experienced caregivers."
Approximately 60,000 Minnesotans reach the age of 65 this year, a trend that will continue for another 15-20 years as baby boomers reach their senior years until senior Minnesotans make up more than one-quarter of our population. Before the end of the decade, there will be more seniors living in Minnesota than K-12 students, and the rate of growth in the senior population will demand that we constantly rethink how we provide quality care within our communities.
To support the policy discussion at the State Capitol, the Long Term Care imperative is launching its innovative new public engagement campaign, "Face Aging MN." This campaign aims to build awareness and change the dialog about aging, using both traditional and new media to communicate its messages. The campaign focuses on real people, including 92-year-old Helen from Woodbury, who served in World War II and continues to live an active life in her community.
"The State of Minnesota has long been an innovator in the care of an aging population," Cullen said. "It is critical that this work continues as the baby boomers enter their senior years and change how we think about living in communities as seniors."
Kvenvold concluded, "These are our grandmothers and grandfathers, our mothers and fathers – and one day — these faces will be our faces. We owe it to our families and ourselves to take a comprehensive team approach to managing the way we deal with aging in our state."
The Long-Term Care Imperative is a legislative collaborative effort that began in 1999 between Minnesota's two long-term care provider associations: Care Providers of Minnesota and LeadingAge Minnesota. The goal of this collaboration is to advance change in older adult services, leaving behind the institutional type of care for one that promotes personal choice, dignity, and options.
The Long-Term Care Imperative continues its work to educate the public, media, and Minnesota's lawmakers on the importance of transformation and change, making sure we all receive the right care, at the right place, and at the right time.
SOURCE The Long-Term Care Imperative