Working with Minnesota's Seniors
Recently, Sen. Franken and his staff traveled around Minnesota holding Senior Listening Sessions to learn about the problems and concerns of Minnesota seniors. These sessions will help Sen. Franken when he works to reauthorize the Older Americans Act as a member of the two committees that oversee the Act- the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee's Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging and the Special Committee on Aging.
The Older Americans Act helps older Americans maintain independence in their homes and communities. It is an important part of providing care and assistance to America's seniors.
In one of the recent Senior Listening Sessions, Gerry Pemrose, a senior in Winona, explained how the volunteer driver program (which is funded by the Older Americans Act) gave her three and a half years longer at home with her husband. During those last years her husband needed dialysis treatment three times a week. Unfortunately, Gerry has trouble driving and was unable to make the 120 mile round trip. She said it was a "banner, red letter day" when she found out about the volunteer driver program. The program "gave us three and a half years we wouldn't have had," she said.
Gerry's story is tremendously moving and personal, and it highlights the importance of access to transportation for seniors. These services help Minnesotans remain independent and give families more time together.
When the Older Americans Act comes up for reauthorization next year, Sen. Franken will be thinking of Gerry's story and the importance of taking care of our seniors. You can also read Sen. Franken's report on the findings from the Senior Listening Sessions.