DSHS Press Release

Washington tops national rankings for supporting seniors, adults with disabilities

OLYMPIA, WA — AARP has named Washington the most successful state in the country when it comes to supporting seniors, adults with disabilities and their family caregivers. The third edition of the State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard, released today by the AARP, Commonwealth Fund and Scan Foundation, highlights the rapid changes states face in terms of aging and changing populations, as well as promising practices that allow programs to continue to provide excellent care and support. The Department of Social and Health Services’ Aging and Long-Term Support Administration was judged on its affordability and access, choice of setting and provider, quality of life and quality of care, support for family caregivers and finding the right type of care for our clients.

“Washington state has always led the way on health care, and now AARP confirms that our state’s long-term care policies foster individual dignity and choice so people can be cared for at home and in their communities,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “All of these important gains are now threatened because of actions in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with deep cuts to long-term care services and support. As Medicaid is the largest insurer of these services, many seniors will lose coverage. I will fight to make sure our seniors and others are getting the services they need so that Washington state can continue to be the best in the country.”

Washington’s ranking emphasizes decades of commitment to person-centered care for individuals and their caregivers through innovative service models. The state was also recognized for making improvements in the percent of Medicaid and state funding that goes to older people and adults with physical disabilities, subsidized housing opportunities and improving the quality of care in nursing homes. Washington ranked second overall in the 2014 and 2011 AARP Scorecard.

“We are proud to be recognized as a leader in the nation and look forward to continuing to innovate in order to serve our growing population of older Washingtonians, said Bill Moss, DSHS Acting Secretary. “We are fortunate to have a strong network across the state of caregivers, providers, social workers, nurses, and many others who help Washingtonians continue to have a choice in how they live their lives.”

Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Alaska rounded out the top five on AARP’s Scorecard.

Contact:
Chris Wright
(360) 902-8338
Chris.wright@dshs.wa.gov