California Welfare and Institutions Code
This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act, that reflects the policy mandates and directives of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, and sets forth the state's commitment to its older population and other populations served by the programs administered by the California Department of Aging.
The Legislature hereby finds and recognizes all of the following:
(a) Older individuals constitute a fundamental resource of the state that previously has been undervalued and poorly utilized, and ways must be found to enable older individuals to apply their competence, wisdom, and experience for the benefit of all Californians.
(b) There is a continuing increase in the number of older individuals in proportion to the total population.
(c) Today, 14 percent of California's population currently is 60 years of age and over.
(d) By the year 2010, the first influx of baby boomers will constitute 29.2 percent of California's total population over 60 years of age. By the year 2020, baby boomers will constitute 70.2 percent of California's total population over 60 years of age.
(e) By the year 2020, older individuals will represent 21 percent of California's total population.
(f) While the number of persons over 60 years of age is increasing rapidly, the number of older women, minorities and persons over the age of 75 are increasing at an even greater rate.
(g) Among persons over 75 years of age, there is a higher incidence of functional disabilities.
(h) The social and health problems of the older individual are further compounded by inaccessibility to existing services and by the unavailability of a complete range of services.
(i) Services to older individuals are administered by many different agencies and departments at both the state and local level.
(j) The planning and delivery of these services is not carried out with any degree of coordination among those agencies.
(k) Enhanced coordination reduces duplication, eliminates inefficiencies, and enhances service delivery for the consumer.
(l) The ability of the constantly increasing number of aged in the state to maintain self-sufficiency and personal well-being with the dignity to which their years of labor entitle them and to realize their maximum potential as creative and productive individuals are matters of profound importance and concern for all of the people of this state.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) Programs shall be initiated, promoted, and developed through all of the following:
(1) Volunteers and volunteer groups.
(2) Partnership with local governmental agencies.
(3) Coordinated efforts of state agencies.
(4) Coordination and cooperation with federal programs.
(5) Partnership with private health and social service agencies.
(6) Participation by older individuals in the planning and operation of all programs and services that may affect them.
(b) It shall be the policy of this state to give attention to the unique concerns of our most frail and vulnerable older individuals.
(c) Recognizing the diversity in geography, economy, culture, and lifestyles in California and the diversity of local senior citizen networks, it shall be the policy of this state to encourage and emphasize local control to achieve the most effective blend of state and local authority.
(d) In recognition of the many governmental programs serving seniors, and as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 9102, the California Department of Aging should coordinate, as existing resources permit, with other state departments in doing all of the following:
(1) Promote clear and simplified access to information assistance and services arrangements.
(2) Ensure that older individuals retain the right of free choice in planning and managing their lives.
(3) Ensure that health and social services are available that do all of the following:
(A) Allow older individuals to live independently at home or with others.
(B) Provide for advocacy for expansion of existing programs that prevent or minimize illness or social isolation, and allow individuals to maximize their dignity and choice of living.
(C) Provide for protection of older individuals from physical and mental abuse, neglect, and fraudulent practices.
(4) Foster both preventive and primary health care, including mental and physical health care, to keep older individuals active and contributing members of society.
(5) Encourage public and private development of suitable housing.
(6) Develop and seek support for plans to ensure access to information, counseling, and screening.
(7) Encourage public and private development of suitable housing and recreational opportunities to meet the needs of older individuals.
(8) Encourage development of efficient community services including access to low-cost transportation services, that provide a choice in supported living arrangements and social assistance in a coordinated manner and that are readily available when needed.
(9) Encourage and develop meaningful employment opportunities for older individuals.
(10) Encourage the development of barrier-free construction and the removal of architectural barriers, so that more facilities are accessible to older individuals.
(11) Promote development of programs to educate persons who work with older individuals in gerontology and geriatrics.
(12) Encourage and support intergenerational programming and participation by community organizations and institutions to promote better understanding among the generations.
(e) The California Department of Aging shall ensure that, to the extent possible, the services provided for in accordance with this division shall be coordinated and integrated with services provided to older individuals by other entities of the state. That integration may include, but not be limited to, the reconfiguration of state departments into a coordinated unit that can provide for multiple services to the same consumers. Services provided under this division shall be managed, directly or through contract, by local area agencies on aging or other local systems.
(a) If any section of this code relating to aging cannot be given effect without causing this state's plan to be out of conformity with federal requirements, the section shall become inoperative to the extent that it is not in conformity with federal requirements.
(b) The planning, development, and implementation of changes in this division shall encourage and allow concurrent implementation and operation of a long-term care integration pilot project consistent with the intent of Article 4.05 (commencing with Section 14139.05) of Chapter 7 of Part 3 of Division 9. In implementing changes to this division, the department shall work with the State Department of Health Services to ensure local determination and local designation of the most appropriate long-term care services agency for each Long-Term Care Integration Pilot Project site.
Unless the context otherwise indicates, the definitions of the terms set forth in this chapter apply for purposes of this division.
"Adult day health care" means an organized day program of therapeutic, social, and health activities and services provided pursuant to this division to elderly persons with functional impairments, either physical or mental, for the purpose of restoring or maintaining optimum capacity for self-care. When provided on a short-term basis, adult day health care serves as a transition from a health facility or home health program to personal independence. When provided on a long-term basis, adult day health care services as an option to institutionalization in long-term care facilities, when 24-hour skilled nursing care is not medically necessary or viewed as desirable by the recipient or his or her family.
"Advisory council" means a specific representative body of laypersons and service providers that represent the interests of older individuals within the boundaries of a planning and service area and that is officially recognized by the area agency on aging, the commission, and the department.
"Area agency on aging" means a private nonprofit or public agency designated by the department that works for the interests of older Californians within a planning and service area, and engages in community planning, coordination, and program development and, through contractual arrangements, provides a broad array of social and nutritional services.
"Care or case management services" means: (a) Client assessment, in conjunction with the development of a service plan with the participant and appropriate others, to provide for needs identified by the assessment.
(b) Authorization and arrangement for the purchase of services, or referral, with follow-up, to volunteer, informal, or third-party payer services.
(c) Service and participant monitoring to determine that services obtained were appropriate to need, adequate to meet the need, of acceptable quality, and provided in a timely manner.
(d) Followup with clients, including periodic contact and initiation of an interim assessment, if deemed necessary prior to scheduled reassessment.
"Commission" means the California Commission on Aging.
"Comprehensive and coordinated system" means a program of interrelated social and nutrition services designed to meet the needs of older individuals in a planning and service area.
"Department" means the California Department of Aging.
"Director" means the Director of the California Department of Aging.
"Frail elderly" means a person having those chronic physical or mental limitations that restrict individual ability to carry out normal activities of daily living and that threaten an individual's capacity to live an independent life.
"Greatest economic need" means the need resulting from an income level at or below the poverty threshold established by the Bureau of the Census.
"Greatest social need" means the need caused by noneconomic factors, that include physical and mental disabilities, language barriers, cultural or social isolation, including that caused by racial and ethnic status (for example, Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American), that restrict an individual's ability to perform normal daily tasks or that threaten his or her capacity to live independently.
"Long-term care" means a coordinated continuum of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, supportive, and maintenance services that address the health, social, and personal needs of individuals who have restricted self-care capabilities. Services shall be designed to recognize the positive capabilities of the individual and maximize the potential for the optimum level of physical, social, and mental well-being in the least restrictive environment. Emphasis shall be placed on seeking services alternatives to institutionalization. Services may be provided by formal or informal support systems, and may be continuous or intermittent. "Long-term care" may include licensed nursing facility, adult residential care, residential facility for the elderly, private duty nursing, or home- and community-based services.
"Older Americans Act" means Chapter 35 (commencing with Section 3001) of Title 42 of the United States Code.
"Older individual" or "elderly" means a person 60 years of age or older, except where this provision is inconsistent with federal requirements.
"Personal and community support networks" means families, friends, neighbors, church groups and community organizations to which the elderly turn naturally to for assistance.
"Planning and service area" means an area specified by the department as directed by the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended.
"Preventive services" means services that avoid dependency and assist older persons in maintaining their good health, well-being, and growth.
"Supportive services" means services that maintain individuals in home environments and avoid institutional care.
"Systems of home and community based services" means an integrated continuum of service options available locally to older individuals and functionally impaired adults, through programs administered by the department who seek to maximize self-care and independent living in the home or homelike environment.