All older adults and people with disabilities should have the option to choose to remain at home and receive the services and supports they need there, rather than being forced to move into a nursing facility to get the care they need. But the current Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) system cannot meet the current or growing need.
Investing in at-home care is critical to ensuring that direct care workers have access to sustainable, well-paying jobs, families can access support for their loved ones rather than being left with no choice but to provide unpaid care, and older adults and people with disabilities can choose to live in their communities, where they most want to be. This investment is also critical to advancing equity because people of color and their families, LGBTQ+ older adults, women of color, who are the majority of care workers, and people with limited income and wealth are disproportionately harmed by the inadequate and underfunded HCBS system.
During a roundtable last month, Marti, a 77-year-old LGBT elder, emphasized how HCBS are especially critical for LGBTQ+ identifying older adults who may not have the family support structure that others do.
“The elders in the LGBT community are really using this service and need a lot more of it,” said Marti. “Many people go back into the closet when they are forced to go into a nursing home environment… the importance of this program for persons like myself, for persons who don’t have that family support structure… I can’t speak strongly enough about how important that is.”
Hear more from Marti about why access to in-home care is critical to her and other LGBTQ+ older adults in this video, and join with Marti and Justice in Aging in telling the Senate to fund HCBS now.
- Call your Senators this week and urge them to include robust HCBS funding in the budget reconciliation bill: 202-224-3121.
- You can also use this tool from NCOA to write to your Senators.
Other Ways to Take Action
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Explore Justice in Aging HCBS resources