Note to editors and public affairs programming hosts/producers: Throughout the month of May, the state Division of Aging Services in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will provide information and feature news releases in observance of Older Americans Month. Division leaders and staff will also be available for interviews and public affairs programming appearances. Please contact Lisa Wallace at (502) 564-6180 ext. 4013 for more information on Older Americans Month news and media programming.
Frankfort, KY (May 2, 2005) – May is Older Americans Month and, according to the state Division of Aging Services in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentuckians are living longer and staying healthier than ever before.
“Older Kentuckians today have more choices beyond long-term institutional care when it comes to where and how they spend their later years,” said Bill Cooper, aging services director. “More and more Kentuckians are remaining in their own homes and communities longer, which contributes to better health, more independence and more engagement in the community, factors which benefit all generations.”
Next year, the oldest of the more than 78 million American baby boomers will turn 60. The Division of Aging Services is already at work preparing for the vast changes, challenges and opportunities that will accompany this momentous demographic shift.
The month of May is designated as Older Americans Month in Kentucky and the nation. The theme “Celebrate Long-Term Living” was chosen as this year’s theme to honor older Americans and to highlight the need for advance preparation by those in and entering their older years.
“Older adults and baby boomers need to make thoughtful choices now to help them live healthy, productive and financially secure lives later on,” Cooper said.
The Division of Aging Services can help individuals and communities plan and prepare for the coming aging boom in Kentucky with a wide array of programs and services.
Studies have shown that, given the choice, older adults will remain in their homes and communities as long as possible. The Division of Aging Services is proud to offer services that help them do just that – programs that help older persons eat better and stay active, encourage and provide opportunities for community involvement and offer choices beyond those available to previous generations.
Some of the services provided by through the Area Agencies on Aging and the aging network include:
adult day care and Alzheimer's disease respite;
assisted living community information and certification;
caregiver support services, including the Kentucky KinCare Project for grandparents raising grandchildren;
homecare services including personal care, home management, home health aides, home- delivered meals, home repair, help with chores, respite, escort and case management and assessment;
personal care attendant program;
Senior Community Services Employment Program;
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP);
and other supportive programs including disease prevention and health promotion, and elder abuse prevention.
Cooper said communities can reap both anticipated and unexpected benefits by preparing in advance to meet the needs of a healthier, more active aging population. By considering their aging populations in residential and business planning and by creating a consumer-friendly environment for seniors, communities can make the transition with far greater ease than those that suddenly find themselves unprepared for the graying of Kentucky.
“Communities that work to make seniors welcome, safe and comfortable will enjoy the advantages of these irreplaceable national treasures who have so much to contribute if the opportunities, access and fundamental services are present,” Cooper said.
He added that it’s never too early for individuals to be informed and to take steps to prepare for their own and their loved ones’ later years.
“We hope Kentuckians of all ages will give serious thought to their hopes and goals before they reach senior citizenship and explore the options, services and programs in place now – and help us by sharing ideas and recommendations for the future,” Cooper said.
For more information on the programs and services available through the state Division of Aging Services, please call (502) 564-6930.
Regional Area Agencies on Aging coordinate a statewide network of local, private and public aging resources, deliver direct services and provide referrals to older Kentuckians. The following is a list of the state’s Area Agencies on Aging.
Purchase AAA, Mayfield, serving Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken; Vicki Williams, (270) 251-6114 or 1-800-866-4213.
Pennyrile AAA, Hopkinsville, serving Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd and Trigg; Brenda Orten, (270) 886-9484 or 1-800-928-7233.
Green River AAA, Owensboro, serving Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster; Vivian Craig, (270) 926-4433 or 1-800-928-9094.
Barren River AAA, Bowling Green, serving Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalf, Monroe, Simpson and Warren; Debbie McCarty, (270) 781-2381 or 1-800-598-2381.
Lincoln Trail AAA, Elizabethtown, serving Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington. Nancy Addington, (270) 769-2393 or 1-800-264-0393.
Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, Louisville, serving Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble; Barbara Gordon, (502) 266-6084.
Northern Kentucky AAA, Florence, serving Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton, Carol Marek, (859) 283-1885.
Buffalo Trace AAA, Maysville, serving Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason and Robertson; Caroline Ullery, (606) 564-6894 or 1-800-998-4347.
Gateway AAA, Owingsville, serving Bath, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan; Charles Jones, (606) 674-6355.
FIVCO AAA, Catlettsburg, serving Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence; Sandy Hillman, (606) 739-5191 or 1-800-499-5191.
Big Sandy AAA, Prestonsburg, serving Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike; Donna Frazier (606) 886-2375 or 1-800-737-2723.
Kentucky River AAA, Hazard, serving Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe; Peggy Roll, (606) 436-3158 or 1-800-928-5723.
Cumberland Valley AAA, London, serving Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle and Whitley; Bernice Miracle, (606) 864-7391 or 1-800-795-7654.
Lake Cumberland AAA, Russell Springs, serving Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor and Wayne; Cindy Branscum, (270) 866-4200 or 1-800-264-7093.
Bluegrass AAA, Lexington, serving Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Powell, Scott and Woodford; Rhonda Davis, (859) 269-8021.