Never Too Late - January 2022


By Maddy Bynes , PCOA Director of Public Policy & Special Projects Call Your Legislators The Arizona Legislature is back in session this month with the legislative session officially beginning on January 10th. And this means we need YOUR voice! Over the past two years, our network in Arizona has faced unprecedented challenges. From adapting services to best serve older adults during the pandemic to ensuring older adults and their caregivers have easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Area Agencies on Aging like PCOA have been at the lead in advocating for older adults. The Arizona Area Agencies on Aging, including PCOA, are extremely appreciative of the Arizona Legislature’s commitment to supporting older adults by providing home and community-based services. Home and community-based services are key to ensuring older adults are able to remain in their own homes and communities as they age and include services like adult day health, assistance with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, shopping, bedlinen changing, caregiver respite, home nursing, and so much more. Home and community-based services continue to be the primary buffer to the slow expansion of people needing more expensive support, such as nursing home placement or other forms of institutionalization. If an older

adult is not able to receive the support they need at home, then they are more likely to come to the attention of Adult Protective Services, often for reported self-neglect, or end up in an emergency room. Here at PCOA we are extremely supporting Area Agencies on Aging in providing home and community-based services by appropriating $1 million in on-going funding to address minimum wage increases. The Legislature also appropriated $1.5 million of one- time funding in FY 2022 to the Area Agencies on Aging to draw down American Rescue Plan Act funding through the Older Americans Act. In an effort to address the extreme shortage of direct care workers in Arizona, the combined $2.5 million appreciative of the Arizona Legislature’s commitment to

We need you! Your voice and help over the past few years have been so effective at getting our elected officials to recognize the needs older people have in our communities. We need your voice and activism this year at the legislature. Visit to find out how you can take action today! competitive in the long-term care market and attract more workers. In order to maintain the levels of service we have today, PCOA is joining our partners throughout the state to ask that the Arizona Legislature make the $1.5 million they appropriated last year to the Area Agencies on Aging on-going funding. to Area Agencies on Aging were used to increase provider rates to in-home care companies. This allowed Area Agencies on Aging to be more

January 2022, Never Too Late | Page 23

Pima Council on Aging

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