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.

 


Debra Chew: Spiritual Well-Being And Surviving Breast Cancer

I don’t look good in pink – but October is pink-out month - and it is everywhere for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  The U.S. and world awareness of this important issue for women’s health is particularly important to me, for I am the daughter of a breast cancer survivor.  This year, as so many lined up at the World’s Fair Park for the Race for the Cure, I was ... (click for more)

Chattanooga-Based Company On The Frontline Of Ebola Response

The transport of patients who have contracted the Ebola virus from West Africa to sites in America including Emory University, the University of Nebraska, and the National Institutes of Health has involved rigorous containment protocols and infectious disease decontamination measures directed and implemented by SafetyPlus, LLC, a single source company specializing in solutions in ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)