Our Mission

The mission of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans is to strive for social and economic justice, and civil rights for all citizens to enjoy lives with dignity, personal and family fulfillment, and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FOLLOW THE LAW

The Honorable Larry Converse, NHARA Board Member, and Lucy Edwards, NHARA President, remind our elected officials to FOLLOW THE LAW!


On May 19th the Elder Rights Coalition held a press conference in the Legislative Office Building to call attention to and protest the failure of the Executive Branch and the Legislature to follow the law on how long term care should be funded in our state.  Options for home based care as well as support for nursing home care and residential opportunities for the elderly and disabled were declared a priority for NH in 2006, and...things have gone down hill since then.  Along with the speakers from various provider organizations and from recipients of home based care, the Coalition handed out a document presenting how the 2006 DHHS LTC Transition was supposed to work:
New Hampshire Long Term Support Systems Transformation 
Our Vision
All New Hampshire citizens have access to the full array of long-term supports and services.  This allows them to exercise personal choice and control, and affords them dignity and respect throughout their lives.  To the greatest extent possible, each of us is able to make informed decisions about our aging, health, and care needs.  There is a high level of quality and accountability in everything offered and in everything provided.  Over time, New Hampshire truly becomes an extended community of people who care about, value and help one another. 
Our Mission 
To create a dynamic and enduring community-based system of long term supports, so all New Hampshire citizens may live and age with respect, dignity, choice, and control until the end of life. 
Our Values 
These are the ideals toward which we strive for all New Hampshire citizens:
  • Quality of life
  • Dignity and respect
  • Choice and access
  • Personal responsibility
  • Ease
  • Integration
  • Responsiveness
  • Wellness
  • Quality and Outcomes 
June 2006
Several times over the past weeks we have heard the term "failure" used to describe the status of our long-term care plan in our state.  We need to hold our elected officials accountable for this!  We are an aging state, with one of the oldest populations in the country, and we cannot throw seniors into a future with no resources, especially after we had planned for these resources.  Failure to implement a plan is planning to fail.

Monday, May 18, 2015

We will join other members of the Elder Rights Coalition for this press conference

Union Leader: State House Dome - Senior advocates to sound off Tuesday - TWO WEEKS ago at the public hearing on the proposed $11.2 million biennial budget, Senate budget writers announced an agreement had been reached to restore about $4 million earmarked to cover rate increases for nursing homes. Administration officials had set aside $7 million to help the Health and Human Service Department offset a more than $50 million budget shortfall, but a larger than expected budget surplus put aside that concern. That meant nursing homes could receive the rate increases they anticipated this year. That is half the story. Lawmakers and administrators are going to hear the other half at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday, when senior advocacy and home health groups lay out what they say is a terrible situation. Without changes, advocates are expected to say, many providers will go out of business, and there will be no one to provide the care services many at-home elderly need to survive. At issue is the Choices for Independence program, which provides Medicaid services to low-income elderly and adults. Surplus money in the CFI program allowed House budget writers and Gov. Maggie Hassan's office to reach an agreement that allows nursing homes to receive their anticipated rate increase. While the nursing homes are taken care of in Senate Bill 8, the health and home care providers in the CFI program said they are not.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans Endorses Mann for State Representative

NH ARA endorses Maureen Mann at Deerfield's historic Old Town Hall

The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans has chosen to endorse Maureen Mann in the May 19 special election for State Representative in Rockingham District 32. Our mission statement states that we “strive for social and economic justice, and civil rights for all citizens to enjoy lives with dignity, personal and family fulfillment, and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility to strive to create a society that incorporates these goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and their communities.”

As we have noted in our letter of endorsement to Ms. Mann, she epitomizes the values that we hold dear.
The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans, representing more than 13,000 retirees, older Americans, and community activists throughout our great state of New Hampshire, endorses your candidacy for State Representative for Rockingham District 32, the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. 
Your positions demonstrate a strong commitment to improve the quality of life for all New Hampshire citizens.  Your proven track record in the New Hampshire House and your unwavering dedication to economic and social justice have earned you the respect of your neighbors, constituents and our organization. 
We thank you for co-sponsoring HB 1555 during the 2014 legislative session.  This bill provides protection for seniors, disabled and impaired adults, making it a crime punishable by imprisonment to exploit them in any financial manner.   Your continued advocacy, leadership and ability to work across the aisle in the New Hampshire State House will ensure that quality of life programs will be around for current and future generations.  Your involvement in your community, including cooking and serving meals to Deerfield seniors, being a library trustee and helping to start The Forum, a newspaper
that has for 10 years provided local news to the four towns in Rockingham 32, has helped to make this area a better place to live.
 
In closing, our members support your candidacy because you have proved that you will work to protect the rights of all our citizens and to safeguard our environment. If we can be of assistance, please contact Lucy Edwards, President of New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans.  We congratulate you on earning our endorsement.
Lucy Edwards, President Jane Lang, Executive Vice President

Sunday, May 3, 2015

You should be reading our newsletter!

You can read our latest newsletter on line, but you really should sign up to get it in your e-mail box!  There is a button that says Sign Up for News and Alerts if you scroll down the right side of this page  that will let you sign up easily and safely.  We'd love to share what we are doing, and what events are coming up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tell your State Senator not to cut services for seniors!

Thanks to Rich Crocker of the State Commission on Aging and Patti Drelick of the the NH Association of Senior Centers for sending on this information about the impacts of the NH House budget on seniors in our state.
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/ocom/budget.htm  
This page [above] has all the budget information for DHHS since the beginning of the year. [Below are] 2 documents--also found on this page---which show the original BEAS presentation to House Finance in March and then the Impacts of the final House budget passed in early April---see pages 16-27 and page 34 for final House budget impacts on seniors. Also, in the impact statements are the descriptions of the closing of 4 DHHS District offices--Claremont, Conway, Laconia and Rochester. 
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/ocom/documents/beasdivisioniiibudgetpresentationmarch2015.pdf 
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/ocom/documents/final-impacts-house-reductions.pdf
There’s a lot of information here, but some of the “highlights” that you might want to talk about with your State Senator are:

  • The 50% reduction in non-Medicaid Social Services, such as meals (home delivered and congregate), transportation and in-home care.  These are all programs that keep us at home as we age, if we don’t have sufficient income to hire our own providers or family who can contribute to our care with time and/or money.  They are less expensive by far then providing care in nursing homes. These services were provided to 196,610 individuals in NH in the 2014 fiscal year.  These cuts would also have great impacts on the many private and non-profit organizations who provide the services, and results in layoffs at DHHS and at the providers. 
  • The complete defunding of ServiceLink in NH.  If you are not familiar with ServiceLInk, this is how our state provides the information that seniors and their families need to make long term care decisions.  It’s where all of us, no matter our financial resources, can get help with signing up for Medicare and Medicare D, finding home care for an aging relative who can no longer do housework or drive to appointments, learning about assisted living or other housing options, etc.  DHHS is mandated to refer consumers to this network of state wide agencies for the information they need, and if the funding is cut, either we go without this information presented in a way that is easily understandable by knowledgeable staff, or the state will need to find another way to get this information out.  ServiceLink works very, very well, why would we want to get rid of it?

Please call or write your State Senator and ask them not to cut these programs and others that provide help to so many NH citizens.  We are not a poor state, but here at the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans we think we are a cheap state, and we hurt our economic future, never mind our people, by being so short-sighted.  After all, we all will grow old and need some help one day.  You can find contact information for your State Senator here: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx There will also be a public hearing in Representatives Hall on Tuesday, May 5, at 3:00 pm where the NH State Senate will take public comments on their proposed budget.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Does cutting ServiceLink make any sense?

New Hampshire Alliance President Lucy Edwards at the NH State House

The Nashua Telegraph has an excellent editorial questioning the choice of cutting all the funds for  ServiceLink by the Republican majority in the NH House of Representatives.  At the 2015 Conference of the NH Senior Center Association we heard from the NH Department of Health and Human Services about their plans to expand their use of ServiceLink as a gateway to more services for New Hampshire residents.  If this cut ends up in the final budget, those plans will have to be scrapped.  As the Telegraph says:
Because it doesn’t really matter how good those the state’s human services network is if the elderly and disabled can’t access those services because they first have to traverse hill and dale and jump through all manner of hoops.
Slamming shut the ServiceLink gate will save about $1.3 million in the budget, but the state will probably lose that much in federal funding if is eliminated.
That right there is a pretty good working definition of short-sightedness.
Call your State Senator.  Tell the State Senate that this is definitely penny wise and pound foolish budgeting.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Great presentation at the NH Senior Center Association's Conference



Our President, Lucy Edwards, and Executive Vice-President, Jane Lang, attended the NH Senior Center Association's 2015 Conference recently, and enjoyed this presentation from the NH Center for Public Policy Studies. We learned a great deal about population trends: NH's population median age is getting older, as the people who moved here in the 1970-2000 decades age in place, and the in-migration of younger people has slowed way down.

We talked about the disconnect between our housing stock, workforce, and transportation networks and the population trends in the future, among many other interesting facts and figures.  We have chosen to focus on housing and transportation over the next year, along with our perennial support for retirement security for all NH citizens.

We suggest that those interested in learning a great deal more about our state bookmark the NHCPPS website.