As the only openly HIV-positive public official in San Francisco, I applaud Gov. Jerry Brown for signing into law Senate Bill 239, which modernizes the outdated HIV criminalization laws in California.
Recent federal budget conversations are putting these programs that California seniors rely on at risk.
There’s still debate over which programs work best in California, and how to help the most amount of people in a cost-effective way. I say: If you want to know how to help Latino seniors, start by asking them.
In-Home Supportive Services is California’s major in-home care program for people with disabilities. But what happens when the person who needs the care doesn’t have a home where services can be provided?
Norma has been working since she was a teenager. She started working as a farmworker, then became a cannery worker and now works in childcare. Now at 60 years old, she is unsure if she “will ever be able to retire.” Her story is illustrative of the challenges that Latino seniors face trying to afford retirement, health care, food and housing.
In the first six months of California’s new End of Life Option Act, which allows some terminally ill patients to end their lives with medication, there have been no initial surprises. California statistics are so far quite similar to those reported by Oregon and Washington, which also have aid-in-dying laws. However, many people seeking to use the End of Life Act are having trouble doing so.
While California’s schoolchildren were looking forward to winter break last month, the federal government made a major announcement: 31 school-based health centers in the state received more than $14.3 million in grants. Since 2011, the government has invested nearly $200 million in school health, and California has received more than $30 million – the most funding received by any state.
America spends an astonishing amount — at least $2.5 trillion — on health care each year, yet we aren’t as healthy as we could or should be. For every dollar we spend on health care, less than a nickel goes toward policies and programs aimed at public health and prevention, such as community farmers’ markets and wellness initiatives that encourage healthy living for all ages. We need to shift the focus of the U.S. health care system from treating illness to creating an environment that is conducive to better health.
New York City is making headlines right now with its proposal to limit the sale of large sugary drinks in the city. But California leads the nation when it comes to statewide policies aimed at making restaurants healthier – and there’s plenty more we can do.
Aging with dignity and independence is the ability to live life to its fullest in the place you call home regardless of age, illness or disability. While we all like to picture ourselves growing older in a healthy way, the reality is that 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need help with daily activities at some point in their lives — for an average of three years. This care can touch every aspect of your life — from how you live to where you live — and it can be very costly. Unfortunately, you never know when you or someone you love might need daily help, such as assistance getting groceries, help with transportation, or round the clock care, all of which require planning and coordination.
Californians have never needed safe play spaces more than we do now. About a third of children in California – and two-thirds of adults – are overweight or obese. Many are urged to get more exercise but can’t follow this advice very easily where they live. Children compete with speeding cars as they try to walk or bike to school. Safe parks and playgrounds are often few and far between, especially in low-income communities. Now all across the state, school districts are hammering out contracts with city agencies to split the costs and responsibilities of opening their gates to the public after hours.