- Report Published -
|Progress in Establishing a Mechanism to Facilitate Improved Coordination and Access to Services to Senior Citizens in Virginia|
|Secretary of Health and Human Resources|
|HJR 132 (Regular Session, 2010)|
|Currently, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources oversees three initiatives which are crucial to improving coordination and access to aging services among older Virginians. The No Wrong Door/ Aging and Disability Resource Connection program and Virginia’s Blueprint for Livable Communities both aim to coordinate information sharing and access to community services to Virginia’s aging population. Additionally, Virginia’s Four-Year Plan for Aging Services facilitates these and other state coordination efforts by providing a detailed snapshot of the status of the Commonwealth’s services to its older residents and offers recommendations for ways to improve these services.|
As stated in the language of HJ 132, through its administration of the No Wrong Door service coordination program, the Virginia Department for the Aging and the statewide network of Area Agencies on Aging provide comprehensive services and convey information to persons in need by telephone and Internet at community locations through electronic resources. The No Wrong Door program is a virtual information sharing and data collection and reporting system for aging service providers and consumers. As part of the Federal Administration on Aging’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection program, No Wrong Door is in a strong position to meet vast and growing needs for access to and coordination of a full range of services and information through a virtual single point of entry system for older Virginians, their caregivers, and adults with disabilities.
More recently, the Virginia Department for the Aging and Department of Rehabilitative Services have taken the joint lead in developing Virginia’s Blueprint for Livable Communities in response to 2010 legislation (HB 514/SB 410) passed by the General Assembly. The Blueprint will consist of a report to the Governor and the General Assembly by June 30, 2011 and will include planning through 2025 to improve long-term services and supports for older Virginians and people with disabilities to live in their communities. The completed report will describe existing statewide coordination activities in housing, transportation, disability, and aging services. The report will also highlight ongoing regional planning activities and barriers to livable communities planning; suggest existing resources to assist regional and local leaders with planning activities; and describe actions that the General Assembly can support in order to improve Virginia’s communities’ preparedness to meet demand increases on services for older Virginians. The successful adoption and expansion of livable communities planning activities at the local, regional, and state levels will result in improved awareness and access to aging services for the aging population as well as more efficient and effective delivery of those service systems within community networks of public and private service providers.
A third initiative, Virginia’s Four-Year Plan for Aging Services, is a legislatively mandated report to be issued by a workgroup overseen by the Virginia Department for the Aging every four years, with a biennial update to the Governor every two years. The first edition of the Four-Year Plan was submitted in December 2009 and contains a comprehensive overview of the status of aging services in Virginia. The report also contains a list of 46 recommendations which, if carried out, would improve the efficacy of state-funded services in meeting the needs of Virginia’s growing population of older adults. The Four-Year Plan workgroup continues to meet quarterly and facilitate progress toward implementing and continuously reevaluating its recommendations. The workgroup’s successes will result in improved coordination and access to aging services across the Commonwealth.
Each of these three initiatives contains a significant focus on interagency coordination to identify and plan for the growing needs of the aging population and to improve the efficiency and array of state-funded service options available to older Virginians and their caregivers. By necessity, all three of these initiatives are heavily intertwined with, and informed by, state coordination efforts under other Secretariats; most notably the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Secretary of Transportation. It is beyond the scope of this report to describe in detail these many additional related mechanisms, but examples of agency collaborations within this complex network of initiatives aimed at improving access to Virginia’s aging services can be attained by reading the reports generated from the three HHR initiatives described in this report.