California Democrats recognize systemic ageism in our society and we are committed to fight it and to recognize the importance and dignity of seniors who enrich our everyday experiences and who connect us with our past. As the fastest growing age group in the nation, people over the age of 65 are a strong driving force in our collective future and are deserving of respect and dignity.
California Democrats affirm and support the California Master Plan for Aging’s five goals to fight ageism and to honor California seniors and for each goal California Democrats will take specified action:
One – Housing for All Stages and Ages – We will live where we choose as we age in communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and are climate-and disaster-ready with a target of millions of new housing options to age well.
- Advocate for stronger oversight of reverse mortgage programs; and,
- Demand greater focus on investigating and prosecuting financial crimes against seniors, and other forms of elder abuse, and that all existing penalties for crimes against seniors be strictly enforced.
Two – Health Reimagined – We will have access to the services we need to live at home in our communities and to optimize our health quality of life with a goal to close the equity gap and increase life expectancy.
- Work toward universal, comprehensive, single-payer health care, and until that is achieved, reform Medicare Part D to make it affordable and easily accessible to people of all income levels, specifically addressing eligibility problems and the private drug plan choices as well as advocating for Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies; and,
- Continue to support the delivery of HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) services to all counties in California.
Three – Inclusion and Equity, Not Isolation – We will have lifelong opportunities for work, volunteering, engagement and leadership and will be protected from isolation, discrimination, abuse neglect, and exploitation.
- Affirm the right of all who need it to manage their attendant care to live with dignity in one’s own home and community;
- Work for additional retraining for those 55 to 65 in order to remain in the workforce, extend unemployment, housing and health care benefits to individuals 55 and older and their immediate families;
- Oppose mandatory retirement; and,
- Work to expand public transportation and other transit services for those on limited incomes, with or without health concerns, to travel freely and enjoy a good quality of life.
Four – Caregiving That Works – We will be prepared for and supported through the rewards and challenges of caring for aging loved ones with a goal of one million high quality caregiving jobs.
- Support increased, stable funding, and expansion of service hours for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and residential care, giving consideration to the special challenges in isolated, rural communities; and,
- Fight to preserve and protect programs serving low-income seniors such as: Adult Protective Services, Senior Community Employment, Multipurpose Senior Service Programs, Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Centers, Home-Delivered Meals, Long Term Care Ombudsman, California Senior Legal Hotline, renter’s assistance, homeowner property tax discount assistance, and property tax postponement.
Five – Affording Aging – We will have economic security for as long as we live.
- Support Medicare as a guaranteed right;
- Support legislation to remove the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) income limit so all wage earners contribute to Medicare and Social Security;
- Push to strengthen Social Security and preserve hard-earned pensions as the bedrock of a dignified retirement; and,
- Advocate for maintaining Social Security Field Offices so that beneficiaries can access services in a timely and easy manner.