While President Barack Obama’s 2010 health reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded insurance access, it excluded undocumented immigrants across the country. This likely contributed to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on undocumented Californians. Health equity and immigrant rights advocates have been urging California leaders to broaden health coverage for nearly a decade.
Native American seniors are much less likely than other racial and ethnic groups to receive hospice and palliative care, but a new partnership between a Capay Valley tribe in Yolo County and a local hospice provider seeks to change that.
Yolo Hospice is working with Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation to research the challenges that Native American communities face when trying to obtain and plan for end-of-life care.
When done right, hospice care can provide immense comfort to terminally ill patients and their families. But fraud, malpractice, unchecked growth, and lack of effective oversight from the state and federal authorities threaten the wellbeing of California’s hospice patients.
Seniors from all walks of life fall victim to these fraudulent practices, but those with limited English proficiency are especially vulnerable.
Here are a few solutions.
The holiday season is further adding to social isolation and feelings of loneliness many seniors have experienced during COVID-19. Many won’t be able to celebrate the holidays with loved ones and some have lost spouses or other family members to the virus.
The Social Bridging Project and other organizations that serve the elderly are ramping up efforts to reach vulnerable seniors living alone. Solutions include meal deliveries, phone check-ins and crisis hotlines.
Advocates who work with seniors are bracing for a new wave of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Already, California Senior Medicare Patrol, which helps Medicare beneficiaries avoid fraud, has received reports of several new scams. Fraudsters have visited residents in senior housing offering them “opportunities” for COVID-19 testing in exchange for their Medicare number. Con artists posing as Medicare officials have called seniors and promised them a (non-existent) COVID-19 vaccine.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, public health experts are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to fulfill a budget proposal that would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to undocumented seniors.
They argue that having thousands of uninsured elderly residents in the state puts these seniors and the broader public at risk. Many see it as a step toward a broader goal: extending coverage to all low-income, undocumented adults.
For years, Dorothy Lowery, 72, of San Pedro has struggled to get by on the less than $700 a month she receives in Supplemental Security Income.
That changed on June 1, when Lowery and about 500,000 other seniors and disabled people in California who receive SSI became newly eligible for food aid.
Modeled after AmeriCorps, the program would recruit high school or college graduates to spend a year providing nonmedical care to seniors with cognitive impairment.