Before you head to the polls, learn where the candidates stand on the issues that matter most to you. AARP Iowa sat down with candidates for Iowa Governor to hear how they would help Iowans live independently, support caregivers, protect public pensions and strengthen guardianship laws to protect Iowa's most vulnerable citizen. Watch how they responded below, so you can cast an educated vote this November.
Question 1: Living Independently
The majority of Iowa residents want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. One way to ensure that they don’t have to move is to redirect spending away from costly nursing home care and into home- and community-based services (HCBS). There are new and existing federal financial incentives and strategies to improve access to services to help seniors remain at home, including consumer-directed decision-making, home health and personal care, helping people better navigate the system and understand their care options, addressing racial disparities in access and quality of care, and expanding and improving the quality of the direct care workforce. How will you expand current Community Care program services and supports that allow more seniors to live independently in their homes and communities?
Question 2: Support for Caregivers
Over 317,000 Iowa family caregivers help older parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently, at home, by providing assistance with activities like bathing and dressing as well as performing complex medical/nursing tasks such as administering medication and wound care. Family caregivers far too often provide these services with little or no training. Iowa is one of only 13 states that have not passed a minimum-standard CARE Act for all Iowa hospitals to recognize and instruct family caregivers when their loved ones are hospitalized. Iowa ranks 46th in person- and family-centered care support.
Question 3: Protecting Public Pensions
In some states, retirees and current workers with defined benefit plans are seeing cuts to their promised pension benefits. How will you protect promised public pension benefits that our teachers, police, firefighters and other city, county and state employees depend upon for a modest retirement?
Question 4: Guardianship Laws
Nearly 23,000 Iowans, many of whom have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, are under guardianship and conservatorship. In 2017, an Iowa Supreme Court task force issued recommendations for guardianship and conservatorship reforms to ensure our most vulnerable Iowans are better protected. How will you strengthen Iowa’s guardianship and conservatorship laws?
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