Our legislative goals in 2023 are focused on supporting family caregivers, reforming long-term care, keeping older Marylanders safe from exploitation, having adequate consumer protections, and ensuring individuals of all ages have the resources and services to help them live their best lives.
SUPPORT FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
AARP Maryland is advocating for simple supports to enhance Maryland’s 700,000 family caregivers’ quality of life and allow individuals needing care to continue to live independently in their homes, rather than in costly institutionalized settings.
LONG-TERM CARE IMPROVEMENTS
To improve the financing and delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS), AARP Maryland advocates for consumer independence, choice, dignity, autonomy and privacy.
Assisted Living/Nursing Homes/Home Health
Residents of long-term care facilities are often frail and may have a higher level of medical needs. AARP Maryland advocates for improvements to Maryland’s long-term care programs, including reporting lifethreatening infections, maintaining proper personal protective equipment, ensuring staff are trained in managing cognitive and behavioral health conditions and improving compensation for direct care staff.
COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Mental Health for Maryland’s 50+
AARP Maryland is advocating for the state to develop a multi-year interagency plan with funding for services to address the cognitive and behavioral health needs of older Marylanders, including the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social isolation.
COMBATING FOOD INSECURITY
Protecting SNAP Benefits
A recent study by the Food and Research Action reported that Maryland has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate among 50-59 year olds (33.89%) and 8th highest food insecurity rate among those over age 60 (18.69%).
SNAP benefits (formerly called Food Stamps) have been a critical lifeline for residents prior to and during the pandemic. The program has been shown to be effective in reducing food insecurity for older adults who have limited resources and have to choose whether to on which necessities to spend - food, housing, medical costs and utilities.
AARP Maryland supports the SNAP program and resists efforts to make cuts to it.
Elder Abuse and Exploitation
AARP Maryland supports legislation to preserve and strengthen state adult protective services agencies and to increase criminal and civil penalties against perpetrators of financial abuse and exploitation.
Affordable Gas and Electric
Expenditures on utilities, especially gas and electric, account for a growing portion of the household budget of individuals aged 50 and older. AARP Maryland is pushing for legislation to expand consumer protections for ratepayers who choose to participate in the deregulated retail energy market.
High-Speed Internet Accessibility/Affordability
AARP Maryland advocates for all Marylanders to have access to affordable high-speed internet, so that older adults may age in place productively and safely with a higher quality of life than they might otherwise enjoy.
PROTECTING RETIREMENT INCOME
State Teachers and Employees Retirement Income
AARP Maryland is advocating to compel the State of Maryland to make its legally-required annual employee pension payments and supports efforts to shore up underfunded pension systems through fiscally responsible changes that will protect both the long-term viability of existing defined benefit plans and the financial security of retirees.
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES FOR ALL AGES
Age Friendly/Complete Streets
AARP Maryland is pursuing initiatives at the state, county and local levels to help make Maryland a great place for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. AARP Maryland encourages local and state leaders to join the AARP/World Health Organization Network of Age Friendly Communities.
ADVOCATE FOR MARYLAND
Sign up to become an AARP advocate and you will receive email action alerts on issues you care about at aarp.org/getinvolved.
This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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