LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Dozens of seniors across the state met at the state capitol Wednesday, Aug. 15, to talk about problems within the senior citizen community.
The Silver Haired Legislative Session meets every other year to bring important aging issues to the attention of state lawmakers and the general public. Ninety-nine seniors from different districts showed up.
"We had a training session in April and wrote bills,” Norma McLain said.
Many of the seniors are looking to bring better senior care to light. Arkansas has one of the highest senior populations in the nation.
Norma McLain and Ermer Pondexer say the state needs to focus on better funding for at-home care.
"It keeps people home and they stay happier. It costs so much in the nursing homes and the cost is rising,” McLain said.
Linda Appleby said “Meals on Wheels” was one of the most talked about topics at the meetings. She said there is not enough funding to care for seniors who need it.
"There is so many people on waiting lists across the state that can't get meals on wheels,” she said.
Appleby said the program is a lifeline to some seniors.
"Some people are going to nursing homes because they have no one to bring them food, when they can just as well stay home and take care of themselves,” she said.
The group said seniors are often forgotten when it comes to lawmaking, and they're hoping to change that.
"We are bypassing a senior population that needs our help and we need that attention to local government that senior services are necessary in counties,” Pondexter said.