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Contact: Kathy Spears, spearka@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: Dianne M. Segura, segurdm@dshs.wa.gov
July 03, 2014
State ranks among highest for serving older adults, people with physical disabilities, and family caregivers

OLYMPIA – Again in 2014, Washington ranked second highest in the nation for services and supports the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides to older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers.


The scorecard measures how successfully the states care for vulnerable and older adults by offering long-term services and support systems. The states' performance is measured in five areas:

  • Affordability and access.
  • Choice of settings for services and providers.
  • Quality of life and quality of care.
  • Support for family caregivers.
  • Effective transitions for seeking support and services.


Washington scored high in all five categories and is second only to the state of Minnesota.


The ranking was announced by the AARP in its 2014 scorecard.


“This is a significant achievement and, perhaps more impressive, a sustained achievement as Washington maintained a No. 2 ranking since the first scorecard was issued in 2011,' said  Bill Moss, Assistant Secretary for the DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration.


“Since that time, the state continued to suffer the impacts of The Great Recession, struggling through budget cuts that forced reductions in services and hiring freezes and furloughs that strained our workforce,' he said.  “Yet through the recession, Washington has been able to continue delivering long-term services and supports in innovative ways by working better together to use funding wisely and continue to search for creative service delivery opportunities.


“I want to recognize the work that DSHS staff does on a daily basis that directly contributes to the high national ranking,' Moss said.  “Whether managing one of our long-term care programs, imaging documents, inspecting facilities, developing rates, or working in human resources to support our employees, staff takes a leading role to make this ranking possible."


In addition to staff, Moss also recognized support from the Governor, the Legislature and stakeholders.


“Sustaining this ranking could not have been accomplished without their support as well,” he said.


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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.