L.A. County's Next Fiscal Crisis: More Elderly


An aging population means rising costs in locked-in social service commitments and law enforcement, and already-strapped Los Angeles county is facing what could be called a "senior tsunami" of upcoming expenses.

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The Daily News reports on a new civil grand jury study on the county's exploding senior citizen population, and the troubles that are likely to accompany that explosion:

As baby boomers age, the county's senior population is expected to double from 1.6 million today to 3 million by 2030, placing increasing pressure on the nearly 100 programs in 24 county departments that provide services to seniors and adults with disabilities, according to county data.

"This pending `senior tsunami' will dramatically impact the need for senior services for elders," grand jurors wrote. "This civil Grand Jury investigation shows the county is not adequately prepared as the population ages for the significant increase in demand for elder abuse prevention programs and services."....

Michael Gargiulo, deputy-in-charge of the Elder Abuse Section in the District Attorney's Office, said the number of elder abuse cases his office is prosecuting has nearly doubled from about 40 per month in 2005 to 90 now.....

.....the grand jury found services for seniors are underfunded. Last year, the county spent $2.9 billion on services for seniors, not including state and federal funds for in-home care worker wages and Medi-Cal payments.....

In the report, grand jurors noted the APS [Adult Protective Services] caseload is expected to increase nearly 10 percent from 25,518 clients in 2005-06 to 28,000 clients in 2008-09. In the same period, the average number of monthly reports of senior abuse and neglect are expected to rise 14 percent from 2,038 to 2,370.

L.A. County's elderly services web site. Past City of Angles blogging on the county's ongoing fiscal difficulties.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user auntjojo. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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