The Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County is committed to advocating for policy change that improves the lives of seniors in Alameda County.  Aging in place, living with dignity, being part of a community, feeling safe, maintaining health and mobility, being able to exercise choice – these are expectations that all of us have as we age.  Community-based supportive services are a necessary part of the equation in helping us address the challenges of aging and thrive in our communities, now and in the future – a future in which every fifth person will be over 65.

SSC’s Policy Agenda looks to that future, addressing the longer-term implications of immediate policy choices that we face today. 

Invest in Services

Population growth and increased acuity levels are straining the service network and hampering the ability of community-based organizations to focus on prevention.  Inadequate public funding and inflation limit growth and threaten the sustainability of programs.  SSC must champion funding for the broad array of community-based supportive services that meet the needs of Alameda County’s aging population.

County Action Priorities:  

  • Champion funding for services, seeking revenue streams and solutions that will ensure the range and capacity of supportive services necessary to address current and future need.
  • Ensure that Alameda County bond measure funds are allocated thoughtfully to provide services and interventions that truly address the unique and diverse needs of older adults.
  • Encourage leveraging of federal and state dollars at multiple county tables.
  • Empower and mobilize community-based organizations and the seniors they serve, so that their voices are heard and respected. 

State Action Priorities:

  • Fight to increase California’s investment in aging services across the board, and to protect existing state and federal funding from recession-driven cuts.
  • Work to increase funding, capacity and access to Medi-Cal covered services, including Enhanced Care Management, Community Supports, Adult Day Health Care, MSSP, IHSS, PACE, and optional benefits.

System Transformation

Silos and regulations exclude CBOs from contract opportunities and ignore the power of supportive services to improve health outcomes. SSC must advance policy and collaborations that establish community-based services as key partners with healthcare, facilitate coordinated solutions, and leverage existing and new resources for better outcomes.

County Action Priorities:

  • Champion change that increases service capacity, makes case management and supportive services available countywide to low- and moderate-income seniors alike, and builds aging-friendly communities.
  • Pursue collaborative development and implementation of the County-Wide Plan for Older Adults, including CBO and consumer representation at the planning table and exploration of public/private partnerships.
  • Advance analysis and data collection that reflect the impact of supportive services on seniors’ health and guide future planning.  
  • Inform thoughtful planning for innovation & leveraging in local bond measure allocations.
  • Inform the local implementation of CalAIM so that it addresses the unique needs of older adults; promote collaboration and the adoption of two-way communication between health entities and CBOs.
  • Convene meetings with leaders in hospitals and healthcare entities to promote the benefits of high-touch, culturally sensitive local services and the value of partnering with local CBOs. 

State Action Priorities:

  • Work to align Master Plan for Aging and other state policy and programs with local priorities; promote policy and regulations that embrace community-based social/supportive services as key players with managed care and in innovations such as CalAIM.

Advance Economic Security for Older Adults

The economic reality for Alameda County’s growing aging population is grave. SSC must advance solutions that improve access to food, housing, healthcare, cash assistance and other services that have powerful positive impacts on seniors’ economic security.  

County Action Priorities:  

  • Work to incorporate seniors’ needs in local housing initiatives, and support initiatives that will create service-enriched, affordable and low-income housing and anti-displacement solutions.
  • Encourage local support for programs that provide nutritious food and the wide range of supportive services that older adults need for good health and life outcomes.

State Action Priorities:

  • Ground advocacy in a communications plan that illuminates the plight of economically insecure older adults and connects the dots between people, policy and solutions.
  • Work to increase SSI/SSP grant levels to lift recipients out of poverty, and support programs and solutions that create a financial buffer for poor seniors.
  • Support investment in senior employment and other programs that help seniors gain and keep economic self-sufficiency.