White House Conference on Aging (Conclusion)

APRIL 17, 1995 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 41

Previous Elder Law Issues have described proposals considered by the Arizona delegation to the WHCoA. This (final) installment of the series will focus on the two remaining topic areas under discussion.

“Special” Populations

Among the concerns of Arizona delegates to the WHCoA are the specific problems of minority, rural, ethnic and disabled elderly. Some of the proposals discussed by the delegation relate to those special populations.

Adapt program eligibility standards to consider chronic illness, social and geographic isolation and lack of preventive health practices (all more frequent among minority and rural populations).

Continue the SSI program, and increase benefits and eligibility to federal poverty levels.

Exclude SSI from block grant proposals.

Target special populations in program outreach efforts.

Provide transportation for program beneficiaries, particularly in rural areas.

Encourage (or require) medical schools to focus health care delivery on special populations.

Require multilingual and multicultural staff in programs serving the elderly.

Permit program flexibility to reach and provide services to minority, rural and disabled elderly.

Involve volunteers in efforts to overcome language and ethnic barriers.

Recruit and promote minority group members to policy making levels in agencies and committees.

Increase training for service providers.

Elder Rights

Suggestions for enhancement of personal integrity and dignity:

Continue funding and enforcement under the Older Americans Act.

Focus more resources on providing affordable, secure and safe housing for the elderly.

Require minimum standards for guardianship, conservatorship and other legal proceedings.

Expand the Ombudsman program under the Older Americans Act.

Enhance programs providing for intergenerational contacts.

Establish multi-generational housing, utilizing elderly residents for teaching, child care and similar functions.

Improve access to transportation for seniors.

On to Washington

The WHCoA begins in two weeks. If you feel strongly about any of the suggestions described in the last three Elder Law Issues, or if you have suggestions of your own, feel free to contact any of the delegates to the Conference; you can reach delegate Robert Fleming at the address in our masthead or at the FAX number below.

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