OKLAHOMA CITY – A spokesperson for AARP Oklahoma today praised a resolution passed by House lawmakers recognizing Oklahoma’s family caregivers and encouraging the creation of a special unit within the Aging Services Division of the Department of Human Services focused on supporting caregivers.
“We are so pleased that Oklahoma lawmakers passed this resolution and, in doing so, showed their awareness and concern for the aging population in their communities,” said Marjorie Lyons, state president of AARP Oklahoma. “I would especially like to thank Representatives Harold Wright and David Dank, who authored the resolution and who are strong advocates for Oklahoma’s aging population.”
House Resolution 1008, by state Reps. Harold Wright and David Dank, notes that the population of Oklahoma that is 85 years or older is projected to reach 131,000 in 2032 and that nationally 70 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder live at home and need assistance.
The resolution further notes that three-fourths of older people living in the community receive personal assistance exclusively from unpaid caregivers and that this type of care is much less expensive than nursing home care. An estimated 596,000 adults in the state provide care to adult relatives or friends, which equates to an estimated 570 million hours and an estimated $6 billion each year.
Wright said AARP Oklahoma is a powerful advocate for the aging population.
“This is an organization that keeps the Legislature informed about aging issues and regularly brings us policy solutions to important problems faced in our state,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “I am proud to work with them on these policy solutions. They are a great resources for Oklahoma legislators.”