State officials focus on services for New Mexico’s aging population

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the New Mexico population gets older, more people will need help navigating their long-term care options.

Now, with open enrollment now open for Medicare in 2024, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham visited Albuquerque to talk show what other services and resources are out there for the elderly and their families.

“Long-term care is an elusive, complicated, financial, emotional, and a whole host of other burdens for families,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

Our governor leveled with people thinking of those options Monday at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

One of those people, Gloria Cordova, who recently turned 79, says now is the time for her. She says navigating those options can be a challenge.

‘There has to be improvement in caregiving. There has to be ways that all diversity of peoples can have meals in their independent living or whatever,” Cordova said.

Cordova currently lives in her Rio Rancho home with a supportive family. However, she understands that, in the near future, caring for her will be a full-time job.

“We’ve got to start looking or planning always for the future,” she said.

Also, just how old is New Mexico’s population getting? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 30% of our state’s population will be over the age of 60 by the year 2030.

Our governor says the solution is to focus on more family-oriented care for elderly folks. While she didn’t lay out a specific plan, the governor mentioned wanting to expand “New Mexicare” by creating a fund intended to leave the care of an elderly loved one to family members.

“We must do better to create an environment where we just invest in the whole family,” the governor said. “We’re in five or six counties. Now, what that is intended to do is to pay family caregivers.”

It’s all about utilizing the $10 million “Kiki Fund.” That fund is intended to expand services for seniors across New Mexico.

“We need to think about that fund as a real innovation fund that really supports families.”

The two-day event continues tomorrow. Click here for more information.