When you think about aging, what issues that come to mind? If home health care quality, social security stability or a complex Medicare system is among your concerns then you’re not alone.
About 4.6 million Texas seniors age 60 and older often deal with similar problems and have few resources to turn to for help. That’s where the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature comes into the picture. Ninety-one members represent 28 districts in the state. They gather with constituents at town hall meetings to identify and discuss current issues faced by an aging population.
About 200 people including seniors and Abilene Christian University students gathered Tuesday for an intergenerational town hall meeting Thursday at ACU. They were seated at tables of eight in the Hunter Welcome Center where each senior took time to tell the group about their main concerns. Roberta Thompson, of Abilene told her group about difficult experiences with home health care providers.
“I would like to see more follow up by the home health care providers on their employees,” Thompson said.
She explained that the home health care providers who were assisting her mother would only do the minimum amount of work and then leave before completing a shift.
“We’re giving away money and not getting that actual service that that senior needs,” Thompson said. “In my opinion if they’ve finished the work, sit there and keep that senior citizen company, because that’s what they’re being paid for.”
One of the students was able to relate to Thompson’s experience, she spoke about the poor quality of care that her family member received from a home health care provider. ACU students were conducting gerontology research during the event.
Another senior brought up his frustrations with paperwork surrounding Medicare. He can hardly understand what he’s agreeing to when he signs documents or pays bills. He would like to see the language simplified and he’s not the only one with that wish.
These issues and more will go before the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and some of them will be presented in the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature next year.