Franken Releases Report on Challenges Facing Minnesota Seniors
Findings Will Guide His Legislative Agenda for the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act
Sunday, Sen. Franken released a report on the challenges that Minnesota seniors face every day. The information in the report was gathered by Sen. Franken's staff during a 17-stop senior listening tour across the state. Sen. Franken will use the data to guide his legislative efforts in the coming months, throughout the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), and as other legislation affecting seniors comes before the Senate.
"We have a responsibility to care for each other in our later years," said Sen. Franken. "I want to ensure that we are prepared as a state and a nation to meet our seniors' needs and I'm committed to working with Minnesota to bring the voice of our seniors to Washington."
The listening sessions held by Sen. Franken's staff examined the effectiveness of the OAA, which funds many local services like Meals on Wheels, senior centers, senior employment programs, and caregiver support. These OAA programs help seniors stay in their homes, get proper nutrition, and access transportation services to get to medical appointments and other destinations.
The following are some of the key findings that became apparent during the course of the tour.
· Seniors lack transportation and access to vital programs, especially in rural areas.
· Minnesota seniors prefer home care; current programs work, but need additional support.
· Additional coordination and flexibility of senior programs are needed.
· Volunteer opportunities are critical-for seniors and those who serve seniors.
· As senior population grows, funding for programs under the OAA needs to be increased.
· Senior counseling programs are valuable and often essential for end-of-life issues.
· Seniors need to be educated on how the new health reform law will impact them.
You can find the complete report here.