Public Policy Committee Agenda:
Caring for Elderly and Adults with Disabilities
Multiple factors influenced the decision to focus on elders and people with disabilities. Among the most common reasons are:
- The Jewish population is older than the national average;
- Our Jewish values to care for the vulnerable populations;
- Increased calls from caregivers and those needing services, including need for emergency food and shelter;
- Loss of pension and savings;
- The impact that supports for elders and individuals with disabilities have on those receiving care and their caregivers, most often adult children;
- The crisis in state funding for elder and disability services;
- Information indicating that many elders and individuals with disabilities are living below the poverty level and financial security standards;
- The existence of advocates and coalitions that already support additional resources and creative policy for these populations; and,
- The need to prevent short-sighted policy made during crisis.
We are actively taking on and will continue to work for such an important issue at such a crucial time, and look forward to working with partners throughout the Jewish community and in the elder and disability advocacy arenas. The number of elders in our community and beyond is growing rapidly as a result of advances in healthcare and the aging of the baby boomer population. Jewish values direct us to care for those in need; these populations' existing needs are heightened now, with programs being cut and personal finances at great risk. We believe our advocacy efforts are best directed toward helping elders and people with disabilities to live as independently as possible and with dignity, by seeking resources and creative policy change and by preventing further reduction of program funding and establishment of crisis-time policies.