Asa! on the elderly | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 5, 2006

Asa! on the elderly

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2006 at 1:44 PM

He's for them (us). You can read the day's news release on the jump. To save you time: No, there's no reference to medical marijuana or physician-assisted suicide.

Asa Hutchinson News Release
(Available online at
For Immediate Release
June 5, 2006
Contact: David Kinkade
(501) 837-7372
Asa Hutchinson Outlines Agenda To Support Arkansas Seniors

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Emphasizes Importance of Aging With Dignity, Security and Independence

Mountain Home, Ark. – Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas' 2006 Republican candidate for Governor, today outlined several of his proposals to expand lifestyle options for Arkansas seniors and to ensure that the senior population is well-served by state government.

“Arkansas continues to have one of the fastest growing populations of seniors in the nation, a trend that will only accelerate in the coming years as the Baby Boomers approach retirement age,” Hutchinson said. “As Governor, I will work to ensure that Arkansas seniors have the opportunity to enjoy their senior years with dignity, security and independence.”

Speaking at a community forum at the Van Matre Senior Center in Mountain Home, Hutchinson laid out the proposals for Arkansas seniors that he will implement as Governor, including designating an advisor on seniors’ issues in the Governor’s office and working to allow greater flexibility and independence to Arkansans in their senior years.

Hutchinson outlined several steps he would take as Governor to represent the needs of Arkansas seniors:

1) Appoint A Governor’s Advisor On Seniors’ Issues: Hutchinson said that he would appoint an advisor dedicated to seniors’ policy issues in the Governor’s office, to handle all policy issues concerning seniors, serve as a liaison to seniors’ advocacy groups, handle constituent requests, and serve as a liaison to the Arkansas Healthy Aging Coalition, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Aging.

2) Host A Governor’s Summit On Aging Issues: Hutchinson pledged to hold a Governor’s Summit On Aging Issues bringing together leaders from the seniors’ community, elected officials, health care experts, and representatives from the private and non-profit sectors to anticipate new challenges we will face as more boomers retire and our seniors population expands, as well as to develop policy recommendations to meet those challenges. The summit would make use of findings from the “Arkansas 2020” report, a demographic study prepared by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in conjunction with state agencies to collect and analyze projections on the state’s changing population. The report is expected to be completed by December 2006, according to UAMS.

3) Allow Seniors More Options and Flexibility To Receive Home- and Community-Based Care: Hutchinson pledged to continue finding cost-effective alternatives to allow seniors the freedom and independence of “aging in place” by receiving home- and community-based care by:

·        Expanding Services Under the ElderChoices Program: ElderChoices is Arkansas' Medicaid home and community-based waiver program designed to allow elderly persons to reside in their own homes or live with relatives or caregivers for as long as possible, if they choose. The program offers assistance with a range of services, including adult day care, housekeeping, meal delivery, etc. By expanding the scope and duration of services offered under the program, the state would save Medicaid money that is spent when seniors who require additional assistance are forced to move into nursing homes, which are a more expensive route for elder care.

·        Providing Additional Investment In Area Agencies On Aging: Arkansas’ eight Area Agencies on Aging play a critical role in providing services and assistance to the state’s seniors, but the agencies face increased challenges with the growth in the senior population, increased fuel and transportation costs, and increased wages for workers. Hutchinson proposed to dedicate additional state investment to the Area Agencies on Aging to ensure that they can continue providing a high level of services to their clients.  

For more information on Hutchinson’s policy proposals, visit
Hutchinson, a native of Gravette, is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Member of Congress representing the state's Third District, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Undersecretary of Homeland Security. Hutchinson currently serves as CEO of the Hutchinson Group, a Little Rock consulting firm.



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