While "aging in place" is an appealing option over life in a nursing facility, Assemblymember Monica Wallace believes there is a lack of infrastructure to properly support that hopeful trend. "Perhaps, they can't drive anymore and let's admit it, in Buffalo you really need a car to get around," Wallace offered as an example. A member of the Assembly Committee on Aging, Wallace says life at home for many seniors is difficult without appropriate support.
Transportation isn't the only glaring need. Wallace believes the lack of workers to assist with homecare needs to be remedied. She's also joining the growing chorus calling for more to be done to help unpaid caregivers, family members who spend countless hours and resources helping out parents so they can live out their senior years in their own homes.
Rising prescription drug costs are another major problem with no simple solution. Wallace and her colleagues are focusing on the role Pharmacy Benefit Managers are playing in rising costs.
Pharmacy Benefit Managers are an "intermediary, a third party that is involved in the negotiation process between an insurance company and the big pharmaceutical company," Wallace explained.
"And, to simplify it, essentially, they take a cut of the cost of the prescription drug and we really don't know how much of a cut they take because it's not very transparent."
Wallace says recent legislation addresses that issue and calls for greater oversight.