Haslam Unveils Report From Task Force On Aging

Friday, August 22, 2014

In recognition of National Senior Citizens Day, Governor Bill Haslam on Friday unveiled a report by the Governor’s Task Force on Aging aimed at serving the state’s senior citizens more efficiently and effectively.

Among the initial steps the task force has recommended are to conduct a review of aging services in state government and to promote healthy living in partnership with the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, as well as encourage local leaders to assess their communities for their livability for the aging.

“We know that while more than 14 percent of Tennesseans are over the age of 65 today, that number is expected to be more than 22 percent by 2020, and we need to be prepared for that as a state,” Governor Haslam said. “I am grateful to the task force for its work and recommendations.”

Governor Haslam formed the Governor’s Task Force on Aging in August of 2013.  He charged the group with creating a plan to improve the lives and care of older Tennesseans and their families through a collaboration of public, private and non-profit leaders.

The task force has presented three areas of focus: promoting healthy aging; creating livable communities; and supporting family caregivers.

The vision of the group is to ensure that older Tennesseans have access to programs, services and opportunities in their local communities that enhance their physical, mental, financial, social and spiritual well-being.

One goal is to grow the number of livable communities in Tennessee by providing affordable, appropriate housing, adequate mobility options and supportive services to enhance personal independence and the engagement of older Tennesseans in civic and social life.

Another goal is to increase the capacity of caregivers to make informed choices in decision-making, through public education and targeted investments that lead to sustainable caregiver respite services, as well as increased awareness of the importance of employer collaboration in supporting caregivers.

The 11-member task force met twice a month for six months and hosted three public meetings in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis. An online survey was also conducted to receive suggestions from citizens unable to attend a meeting.

Research by the task force showed that Tennessee ranks in the bottom 10 states on almost all health and well-being measures. Ninety percent of individuals want to age in place, but not all Tennessee communities are prepared for the increased community requirements.

The panel found that family caregivers feel ill-prepared for the role and that employers are not educated about the impacts on productivity when employees are family caregivers.

The complete report can be found online at https://news.tn.gov/sites/default/files/Aging-Task-Force-Final.pdf.

National Senior Citizens Day was established in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.


Erlanger’s Data Management Platform For Stroke Recognized As A Finalist By Cleveland Clinic During IT Challenge

The Cleveland Clinic 2016 Medical Innovation Summit recognizes CEREBROS, Erlanger Health System’s partner in data management for stroke, as one of four finalists from more than 90 submissions of cutting-edge solutions to improve health care during this year’s IT Challenge.     As the first Neurovascular Information System designed for neurology and stroke programs, ... (click for more)

BlueCross Adds Hearing Benefits For Seniors In 2017

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee intends to help the large number of seniors who suffer from hearing loss by offering high-quality, affordable hearing benefits in its 2017 Medicare Advantage plans known as BlueAdvantage. In a partnership with TruHearing, a national hearing aid provider, BlueAdvantage members will be eligible for an annual hearing exam, plus two hearing aids ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

PETA And Humane Educational Society Offer Reward For Torture-Killing Of Dog After Envelope Mailed From Chattanooga

An envelope postmarked from Chattanooga and containing a photo of a dog strung between two trees arrived at PETA's office in Virginia Tuesday, along with the severed ear of a dog. PETA members are offering a reward of $5,000-and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has added another $1,000-for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)