FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2016
AARP Arkansas statement on long-term services and supports announced today by Governor
LITTLE ROCK — AARP Arkansas State Director Herb Sanderson issued the following statement regarding a memorandum of understanding announced today by Governor Asa Hutchinson about rebalancing how the state spends its annual $1 billion long-term care supports and services budget:
“AARP Arkansas has not had an opportunity to review this proposal in detail, so we cannot comment on specifics at this time. We are encouraged that the Governor and others are making a commitment to help older Arkansans live with independence in their homes and communities with the care they want and need for as long as they are able.
“Two key considerations moving forward are important to our more than 320,000 members in Arkansas: that the process is transparent and that consumers, families and caregivers have a voice.
“An overwhelming 90 percent of Arkansans 50 and older prefer to receive care at a setting other than a nursing home, according to a poll commissioned by AARP. Moreover, the availability of at-home care is viewed as “very important” or “extremely” important by 74 percent of those polled—and by 78 percent of those from households with a family caregiver. An estimated 452,000 Arkansans serve as unpaid caregiver for a spouse or other loved one, and we appreciate Governor Hutchinson’s administration's efforts and leadership on this issue.
“Family caregivers make herculean efforts to care for their loved ones, and it makes financial sense and common sense to enable people to stay in their own homes and communities whenever possible and as long as possible.
“Families and friends are the backbone of America’s care system, and at some point in our lives each of us will likely take care of somebody we’re close to who needs help with everyday activities. More affordable and more accessible care will help the thousands of Arkansas family caregivers navigate the confusing care systems to provide support for their loved ones.”
Additional information about the poll and how Arkansas ranked in a comprehensive Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports released in 2014 by AARP is available on AARP Arkansas’ web site at http://wp.me/p2ZEti-awY