The History of California Commission on Aging
The CCoA had two major advocacy successes in 2018. The first was co-sponsoring, along with CWDA and CEJC, the Home Safe Project which was signed by the Governor. In addition, CCoA led a statewide effort to ensure that older adult services would remain a priority under the Mental Health Services Act.
The California Family Caregiver Task Force released its’ final report and recommendations at a Legislative Hearing in July. CCoA remains involved in helping to ensure the recommendations move forward.
The CCoA became a collaborative partner in the We Stand With Seniors campaign; co-sponsored a public forum on the “Implications of Senior Housing” with Sierra Health Foundation and joined the Alzheimer’s Association in an event to highlight the impact of the disease on older women.
At a meeting in Los Angeles, the CCoA held a roundtable entitled “Hollywood Takes on Aging” to discuss the portrayal of older adults in film and on television. As a follow-up, a Commissioner launched the WISE up on Aging.
A Commission meeting held in Placerville highlighted a unique AAA structure in a rural county.
The CCoA’s last meeting of the year was held in Palm Springs and featured guest speaker Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE.
The CCoA hosted a legislative breakfast in January. Throughout the year CCoA reviewed, took positions and testified on state bills and budget requests that would impact older Californians, particularly those most vulnerable. At the federal level, CCoA opposed cuts to vital aging programs and supported the Chronic Care Act.
The CCoA participated in two new stakeholder efforts to improve long-term care financing options in California and continued efforts on the Reframing Aging Initiative.
The Commission hosted an event with federal aging leaders to assess what the results of the federal election might mean for California’s older adults and joined with other advocates to sponsor a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event in Sacramento
The CCoA held a meeting in Marin County to view their efforts in expanding age-friendly communities throughout the entire county and also held a meeting in Stanislaus County to understand the needs of older Californians in the central valley. A collaborative effort with West Health was launched in November, during a meeting in San Diego, to identify polling questions to be used to identify the need for long-term care services.
The CCoA Director was elected co-chair of the California Family Caregiver Task Force and was an organizer of the 2017 Senior Rally Day in Sacramento. The January 2018 – December 2020 Operational Plan was approved.
The CCoA invited a speaker to report on the national Reframing Aging movement and adopted a Reframing Aging Initiative for California.
The CCoA created an ad hoc workgroup to explore issues around gerontology workforce and submitted a legislative proposal on this topic. In addition the CCoA also sponsored a San Diego Elder Victim Compensation Pilot Project bill.
In 2016 CCoA adopted a Poverty Initiative with the first focus being on older women. In June the CCoA joined with the California Women’s Law Center and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to host the first statewide effort to look 11 at the issue of older women in poverty through the lenses of retirement options, elder justice, food insecurity and health access. The Aging, Women & Poverty in California Forum brought together policy leaders from around the state representing diverse disciplines and perspectives in order to cultivate a set of policy recommendations addressing this looming crisis. Using information gained at the forum along with additional researched, CCoA published a Policy Brief on the topic. In November the CCoA held a public hearing titled “Working Together to Solve Older Adult Poverty”.
In partnership with C4A and CCS, the CCoA was able to secure a one-time allocation of $2 million general fund for home delivered meals.
The Older Americans Act was reauthorized for FY 2017- FY 2019. The Act included provisions that aim to protect vulnerable elders by strengthening the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and elder abuse screening and prevention efforts. It also promotes the delivery of evidence-based programs, such as falls prevention and chronic disease self-management programs.
The CCoA coordinated with two California State Universities (Chico and Long Beach) to encourage interactive student voices in the discussion of aging policy.
Though much smaller than previous efforts, President Obama convened the 2015 White House Conference on Aging at the White House.
The CCoA co-sponsored two successful budget proposals to secure funding for Adult Protective Services (APS) training and for the long-term care ombudsman program.
The CCoA along with other Elder Protection organizations sponsored a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Resolution.
Eight of the nation’s leading aging-focused organizations formed a partnership with FrameWorks Institute to create a better public understanding of older adults’ needs and contributions to society in order to improve the lives of all people as they age. Broadly referred to as REFRAMING AGING, three reports were produced to address the premise that unless the public develops a more accurate understanding of today’s older adults, it will continue to be difficult to secure the systems, human capital and financial resources needed by older adults.
The CCoA celebrated its 40th anniversary by sponsoring a forward-looking symposium at USC School of Gerontology entitled The Future of Aging: A California Conversation. In addition CCoA held its first Legislative Breakfast.
In preparation for the upcoming White House Conference on Aging, CCoA sponsored a Listening Session for Commissioners and local advocacy organizations.
Along with AARP, the CCoA co-sponsored an Assembly Concurrent Resolution to create a Family Caregiver Task Force. Also, CCoA co-sponsored a successful budget proposal to establish an Adult Protective Services (APS) Liaison within the state Department of Social Services.
A Senate Select Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care was established and produced a report entitled “A Shattered System: Reforming Long-Term Care in California.”
The CCoA co-sponsored a bill to include Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living Centers in the definition of “stakeholders” for the purpose of consultation on implementation of the Coordinated Care Initiative.
Federal sequestration cuts of approximately $9.8 million negatively impacted California’s Area Agencies on Aging, service providers, and those who receive Older Americans Act services.
The CCoA joined with the CDA to hold hearings on the 2013-2017 State Plan on Aging.
In collaboration with the California Elder Justice Coalition, the CCoA sponsored a statewide Elder Justice Policy Summit. In addition the CCoA organized and co-hosted five informational Brown Bag Sessions for legislative staff on elder abuse.
The CCoA held a formal public hearing on the Desert AIDS Project campus that focused on the issues, concern and needs of the LGBT population.
The Secretary of Health and Humans Services announced the creation of the new Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the federal level which brought together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency.
The Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) was enacted through SB 1008 and SB 1036 The CCI began the process of integrating delivery of medical, behavioral, and long-term care services and also provided a road map to integrate Medicare and Medi-Cal for people in both programs. The CCI also called for the expansion of Medi-Cal Managed Care to 28 rural counties that had traditionally been fee-for-service counties. In response, the CCoA, along with the California Collaborative for Long-Term Services and Supports, co-sponsored an informational briefing on the expansion. CCoA prepared a document from the briefing entitled Rural California: Examining the Transition to Managed Care.
The program formerly known as Adult Day Health Care was reconstituted as Community Based Adult Services (CBAS).
The CCoA established a Federal Policy Committee and adopted an initiative to strengthen elder justice policy.
In recognition of the Federal designation of 2011 as the Year of the Family Caregiver, the CCoA convened public hearings on the topic in Sacramento, Aptos and San Diego. A White Paper was produced.
Commissioners conducted a review of roles, responsibilities, and appointing authorities of State Aging Commissions around the nation.
Along with the Congress of California Seniors, the CCoA organized a second statewide Senior Center Stakeholder Forum
The CCoA authored a publication “Innovation – Resourcefulness – Persistence: How California Senior Centers are Meeting Today’s Challenge”. The goals of this project were to honor the important work that senior centers do in our state and to inspire similar innovation in other centers.
With funding from The SCAN Foundation, the California Collaborative for Long-Term Services and Supports (CCLTSS) was formed. Meeting weekly, the Collaborative is a coalition of statewide organizations serving seniors and persons with disabilities. CCoA is a participating member of CCLTSS.
The CCoA launched AgeWatch as a regular electronic newsletter.
With the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and the Congress of California Seniors, the CCoA co-sponsored a Legislative Briefing on the Senior Center Initiative.
The CCoA sponsored two designated Older Americans Act Reauthorization Listening Sessions - one in Riverside County focusing on LGBT elders and one in Humboldt County focusing on Title VI Programs for Native Americans
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.
The CCoA, together with the Congress of California Seniors and the Triple-A Council of California hosted a highly successful first-ever statewide Senior Center Stakeholder Forum for 300 attendees. CCoA worked with the Governor’s Office to secure a proclamation declaring February 2009 as Senior Center Month in California.
The CCoA Chair was asked to testify before the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.
California’s enacted budget created a 32% General Fund reduction resulting in the elimination of the following programs: Linkages, Brown Bag, Respite Purchase of Service, Senior Companion, and Alzheimer’s Day Care Resource Center.
The CCoA held a concurrent meeting with the State Independent Living Council to begin the dialogue for joint advocacy.
Focusing on rural health access, the CCoA held three hearings in Woodland, Redding and Fullerton.
CCoA adopted a multi-year Senior Center Initiative that included a literature review, a statewide event, an updated list of senior centers, and a survey of center infrastructure needs.
Together with the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, the CCoA co-sponsored an informational hearing on Improving Transitions from Hospital to Home for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities.
The Commission met at the Veterans Home in Yountville and held a hearing on older veterans’ health issues.
The Older Americans Act was reauthorized and included strengthening the Act’s elder justice functions. establishing a distinct title and funding for Aging & Disability Resource Centers, placing
On June 30, 2006, the CSL formally separated from the CCoA.
The CCoA initiated a focus on rural health issues with a public hearing held in Amador County on Challenges of Healthcare in a Rural Setting.
The first cooperative venture between the CCoA and the State Independent Living Council (SILC) occurred with a co-sponsored hearing.
Turning Ideas Into Action was the theme of a CCoA-sponsored post-WHCoA Conference for delegates and advocates.
The CCoA hosted the nation’s first White House Conference on Aging Solutions Forum.
The CCoA was directed by Governor Schwarzenegger to be the lead entity responsible for the recruitment and training of the California delegation to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. The CCoA coordinated a statewide delegate training session in November 2005.
A WHCoA was held December 2005 in Washington D.C.
The California Performance Review (CPR) was released in August of 2004 which recommended the elimination of numerous boards and commissions, including the CCoA. The CCoA, along with senior advocacy groups, opposed the recommendation. In February 2005, the concept to eliminate the CCoA was removed from the CPR.
Also in 2004, the Governor signed AB 1994 (Berg). This bill established the CSL as a separate state entity and directed the separation of the CSL from the CCoA.
The first two Aging & Disability Resource Centers were started in California in 2004 – one in San Diego County and one in Del Norte County.
The CCoA convened Planning for an Aging California: an Invitational Forum in April 2003 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The purpose of the Forum was to invite dialogue with California State Leadership regarding the development of the Statewide Long Range Strategic Plan for Aging, as called for in SB 910 (Vasconcellos). The Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency was to present the Plan to the State Legislature in July, 2003.
In October 2003, the California Health and Human Services Agency approved the Strategic Plan for an Aging California Population: Getting California Ready for the “Baby Boomers.” The CCoA assumed the responsibility (as resources allowed) to monitor the Strategic Plan, convene state leadership around the Plan’s progress and present progress reports to the Legislature on a biennial basis.
General Fund budget pressures in California started to erode the service array established initially under the Older Californians Act. The Senior Housing Information and Support Program was eliminated. In addition, between 2002 and 2004, funding reductions at CDA created a loss of 53 staff positions.
Congress passed the National Family Caregiver Support Program providing for the first time a comprehensive program for informal caregivers, funded through Older Americans Act.
The second HOPE Summit was held in February and presented by the TACC, CCoA and CSL. The 2000 Summit focused on ethics, elder law and conservatorship.
Governor Davis implemented an Aging with Dignity Seniors Initiative (AB 1846) that created two additional programs administered by the CDA – the Senior Housing and Information Support Center and the Senior Wellness Program.
CDA also conducted a pilot test of the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program and began administration of the program in 2003.
The TACC sponsored the first HOPE Summit in March. The day after the Summit, a public hearing on Mental Health and the Older Adult was held by the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care.
Governor Wilson introduced the “California Seniors In-Home Care and Protective Services Initiative” to enable more seniors to avoid institutionalized care and augmented the Older Californians Act services by $13.8 million.
The Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act (AB 2800) was revised to reflect the policy mandates and directions of the amended Older Americans Act. AB 2800 moved the primary focus for the delivery of services funded by the General Fund from the state 5 level to the local level. Exceptions were the ADHC program and the MSSP, both of which continued to be directly administered by CDA.
That same year, CDA established a toll free 800 number (1-800-510-2020) to assist people with accessing services.
Though delayed, President Clinton called the fourth White House Conference on Aging.
In California a policy guide entitled, The Challenge is Clear...The time is Now was adopted by the leadership of six aging advocacy organizations in California including the CCoA.
In 1994, SB 1495 (Mello) stipulated that the entire operational support for the CSL would come from the funds contributed through the tax check off line. Likewise, although not enacted into law, the same was done with the TACC and the contributions generated through their tax check- off line.
The Older Americans Act was amended to focus on securing the opportunity for older individuals to receive managed in-home and community-based long-term care services
The Act also expanded the definition for Information and Referral, renamed the service Information and Assistance and placed limitations on the amount of funds that could be transferred between titles. Also, the Act consolidated and strengthened four programs within the new Title VII Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Activities.
In 1991, the CCoA and TACC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which the funds generated from the California Seniors Special Fund were provided to the CCoA to provide operations and administrative support services for the TACC.
In 1990, the CCoA, along with the TACC and the California Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A) sponsored SB 2085, which created the California Seniors Special Fund which allowed taxpayers age 65+ to contribute all or part of the senior tax credit to fund support for the TACC and direct services for seniors. Today the check off is known as Code 400.
The California Commission on Aging formed the non-profit California Foundation on Aging as a vehicle to supplement government resources for senior programs with private donations.
The Older Americans Act reauthorization added non-medical in-home services for frail older persons, preventive health services and prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older individuals. States were required to establish an Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
A state Respite Care Program was established.
Governor Deukmejian signed the Senior’s Initiative for California to build a system of community-based long-term care services. The following services were established: Linkages Program, Alzheimer’s Disease Day Care Resource Centers, Alzheimer’s Task Force, and Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).
California voters passed Proposition 30 (Senior Center Bond Act) making $50 million available to acquire, construct or renovate senior centers.
In 1983, the CCoA and CSL jointly sponsored AB 50. This bill provided a permanent funding base for the CSL through the establishment of a tax check-off line on the state income tax form, allowing taxpayers to contribute to the California Senior's Fund.
In 1982, Senator Mello authored SCR 44. This resolution asked the CCoA to sponsor annual sessions of the CSL with private funds.
The third White House Conference on Aging was called by President Reagan. No significant recommendations were implemented.
The Older Californians Act of 1980 redefined the duties and functions of the CDA and the state’s 33 AAAs. The Act also gave the AAA Advisory Councils the role of “principal advocate” for seniors at the local level; similar to the state level duties of the CCoA.
Also in 1980, ACR 129 (Mello) was passed. This resolution required the CCoA to convene the first session of the California Silver-Haired Legislature in 1981. The SilverHaired Legislature eventually became the California Senior Legislature (CSL).
In 1979, the CCoA and TACC established a close working relationship and developed language that was incorporated into Older Californians Act revisions of 1980.
OAA amendments required that all planning and service areas have an Area Agency on Aging in order to receive Older Americans Act funds. Prior to this point, only 18 California Area Agencies on Aging were in existence – there are 33 AAAs currently.
The Triple-A Council of California (TACC) was initiated by a small group of Area Agencies on Aging Advisory Council members from around the state. The TACC eventually became the statewide organization whose members are the chairs (or designees) of the 33 local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Advisory Councils.
Under AB 2285 the Office on Aging was renamed the California Department of Aging.
The first meeting of the new CCoA was held April 25, 1974.
The 1973 amendments to the OAA changed the direction and emphasis of Title III from one of direct service provision to one of development of comprehensive and coordinated system of service delivery. The amended Act created Advisory Councils at national, state and local levels.
The 1973 Burton Act for Aging (AB 2263) assigned policy making and administration responsible for the Older Americans Act to a new State Office on Aging, which was established January 1, 1974 to serve 2.7 million Californians.
Also in 1973 the California Commission on Aging (CCoA) was reconstituted to serve as an advisory body to the Office on Aging, other Departments, the Governor and the Legislature on the problems, needs and concerns of the elderly, as well as provided funding and staff.
The elderly nutrition program received an initial authorization of $100 million.
President Nixon called the second White House Conference on Aging to announce fivefold increase for programs operating under the OAA.
California Legislature enacted AB 166 to create the California Commission on Aging, making California the second state to qualify for Older Americans Act funds. The Commission administered the initial OAA funds
Congress enacted the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965, which created the Administration on Aging and its subsequent benefits for the older population in the United States. The initial OAA called for a constituent role in program advocacy.
The first White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) was held in Washington D.C.
The Legislature established a California Citizens Advisory Committee on Aging to formalize and disseminate information on behalf of 1.5 million people age 65 and over.
Governor Warren convened first Governor’s Conference on Aging which recommended a Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Aging.