Arkansas has fewer than half a million seniors living in the state, but that number has jumped by around 15% since 2000. Arkansas is one of just 11 states that has seen at least a 15% increase in the number of seniors. Since this trend is only expected to continue, the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) is busy making sure seniors live long and dignified lives.
The stated mission of DAAS is to “promote the health, safety and independence of older Arkansans.” It does so by providing a vast array of programs and services for seniors, including:
-- Adult Day Care: Structured programs for seniors who need daytime care.
-- Adult Protective Services: Preventing abuse and neglect of seniors.
-- ElderChoices: A Medicaid program that provides in-home services to keep frail seniors in their own homes.
-- Housing: Various programs ranging from rent help to special housing for seniors.
-- IndependentChoices: A special project in Arkansas that provides an allowance so a senior can go out and buy the services they need to remain in their homes.
-- In-Home Services: Help for seniors with daily living activities, such as personal care and meals.
-- Legal Services: Free legal advice when needed.
-- Long-Term Care Ombudsman: Standing up for the rights of long-term care facilities.
-- Med-Time: A simple device that organizes, reminds and dispenses medications.
-- Money Follows the Person: Transitioning residents of long-term facilities to home and community-based services.
-- Senior Community Service Employment Program: Training and job placement for low income seniors who still need to work.
-- Transportation: Helping seniors get to medical appointments.
Ask seniors what their greatest fear is and many of them will tell you that it is having to go to a nursing home or an assisted living center. Living independently in their own homes for as long as possible is the goal for most seniors, and a medical alert system can help seniors make it a realistic goal.
Perhaps the only benefit of a long-term care facility is that a senior is constantly monitored. Well, a medical alert system can provide that same benefit. The system is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If a problem arises, all a senior has to do is press a button and help will be on the way.
Why would any senior who truly values their independence not get one? Medical alert companies operate in all 50 states, including Arkansas. To compare the services from more than a dozen top companies, click here.
Arkansas has a Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging (GACA) designed to “advise the Governor and the Division of Aging and Adult Services about the needs of older Arkansans and the programs that serve them.”
The Council has 20 members, all appointed by the governor. Meets are held quarterly in Little Rock. Seniors who have concerns are urged to contact their local GACA member, who can then bring the issue to the full council. A list of all members can be found here.
DAAS coordinates through eight Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to deliver services to the state’s seniors.
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