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Joint Legislative Health Caucus meeting to discuss Caregiving and the Aging

Wide range of professionals, seniors and caregivers to present at August 4th meeting

On Wednesday, the Joint Legislative Health Caucus will host a number of Alaskan presenters to discuss Caregiving and the Aging in Alaska. With the number of Alaskans over sixty expected to more than triple by 2025, it is imperative Alaskans understand and begin to address the needs of an aging population now.

"Alaska's aging population is vital to the state's social and economic health," said Rep. Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage). "Bringing the critical senior issue stakeholders together from communities across the state builds the understanding necessary for Legislators to create sound health policy."

Presenters from medical services, AARP Alaska, Older Person Action Group, and the state Division of Senior and Disability Services, along with private Alaska care providers, family and senior recipients, will discuss seniors' hoped for outcomes, the steps to achieve ideal outcomes, and the costs of either meeting or not meeting those outcomes.

"With the ever increasing number of seniors who currently live in Alaska, we need to be proactive as policy makers, directors of non-profit organizations and others serving seniors to adequately plan for this growth, so that Alaska will continue to be an attractive place in which to live and retire," said Ray Clements, Ph.D., executive director of the Older Persons Action Group, Inc and editor of the Senior Voice.

Ann Secrest, director of communications for AARP Alaska, will give a profile of today's caregiver, including the top five unmet needs of caregivers.

"Today, adults over the age of 50 -- are expected to double in the next 25 years," said Secrest. "We need to recognize that while it may be rewarding, family caregivers are often struggling to balance caring for older relatives with other demands."

"How do Alaska's seniors get the care they need while caregivers also receive needed support?  This statewide discussion will answer questions about serving our caregiving and aging Alaskans better," said Rep. Cissna.

The meeting will be held on August 4th from noon until 2:00pm in Room 220 of the Anchorage Legislative Information Office at 716 W. 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage. It is open to the media and the public. Those who cannot join in person may join the meeting through local Legislative Information Offices or through the statewide legislative teleconference system.

For more information, or to get teleconference information, call (907) 269-0190 or toll free (800) 922-3875 from outside of Anchorage.

The final agenda is on the caucus website, www.akhealthcaucus.org.



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