Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Progress being made on senior issues

May 30, 2001

We will all, at some point in our lives, have to consider issues such as long-term care insurance, care giving for aging family and friends, mental and physical wellness, and having the ability to remain in our own home for as long as possible. These are routine topics for the Kansas Department on Aging (KDOA) and Secretary of Aging Connie Hubbell.

KDOA is here to serve all of us in helping sort through difficult decisions. The department is also clearinghouse for information and services.

The Department on Aging's Senior Survey confirms that the top concern identified by seniors are the costs of medicine and food, quality nutrition, maintaining personal independence and the cost of long-term care.

These issues will be at the forefront of my discussions and considerations as we plan for the future.

There are more than 300 senior centers throughout the state, yet they are not fully utilized and they aren't collectively integrated with the aging network.

With Secretary Hubbell's leadership, we are exploring future roles for senior centers so they become comprehensive centers providing nutrition, recreation, wellness and fitness activities, computer training and resources, social and educational services, and opportunities for volunteerism.

Older workers and their impact on the Kansas work force are a very important issue we must not overlook.

Mature workers bring to their jobs a lifetime of experience, expertise and skills, and are good role models for younger employees.

Secretary Hubbell and Secretary Rick Beyer of the Department of Human Resources, are working together to promote opportunities of older workers and their value to the Kansas workforce.

Congress recently approved a Family Caregiver Support Program providing Kansas $1.13 million to implement a family care-giving program.

We will use these funds to establish programs and resources that assist caregivers through the Kansas Area Agencies on Aging, service providers and consumer organizations.

I am proud of the progress Kansas is making on issues important to seniors. Together we can all look forward to longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.

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