On May 11, 2022, the Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network (WAN) sponsored Aging Advocacy Day, an annual event designed to educate and empower Wisconsinites to advocate with their state legislators on issues affecting older adults. The event included an educational session to teach participants about legislative priorities and provide training on how to effectively advocate. This was followed by an opportunity for participants to reach out to their own representatives to share their stories and ideas on how to improve the lives of older adults living in Wisconsin. The issues highlighted this year included supporting family caregivers, keeping voting simple, and investing in ADRC funding. Read on to learn more!
Support Family Caregivers
Family caregivers are the primary providers of long-term care for older adults in Wisconsin, helping with direct care, care management, transportation, medication management, and more. While often done out of love, being a caregiver can be emotionally and financially costly. We can support these caregivers by asking our legislators to:
- Support a family caregiver tax credit
- Increase respite funding throughout Wisconsin
- Expand FMLA
Keep Voting Simple
Where and how to legally vote has become an increasingly complicated question, and even more so for older adults and people with disabilities who face barriers to voting including: polling place accessibility issues, limited access to transportation, difficulty obtaining a valid photo ID for voting, and no available assistance or support. The following policies would help ensure everyone can make their voice heard:
- Support policies that make our elections more accessible
- Say no to bills that make it harder for older adults and people with disabilities to vote
- Ensure that assistance available at polling places is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that poll workers are trained on these rights
- Fund transportation for voting related activities
- Improve access to photo ID needed for voting
Invest in ADRC Network Funding
ADRC’s are the only provider of local, unbiased, decision support that can assist older adults and people with disabilities in identifying services, resources, and programs to help them remain independent in their homes for as long as possible and our services are available in every county in Wisconsin. People who receive options counseling at a local ADRC are 89% more likely to access privately paid resources rather than utilize services through Medicaid-funded long-term care programs. It has been found that every $1 invested into Wisconsin ADRC’s leads to a savings of $2.48. ADRC’s have seen a 22% increase in customers accessing their services, yet there have not been changes to the base allocation since 2006. Support for a funding increase will ensure that all Wisconsinites can continue to access these services as demand for them continues to grow.
We would love to have you join us for Aging and Disability Advocacy Days in 2023. Keep an eye on our website and the ADRC Magazine next spring for more information. And remember, every day is a good day to advocate for what matters to you!