KY seniors push for support for family caregiving, equitable housing and prescription drug costs

By Nadia Ramlagan
Public News Service

Kentuckians age 50 and older say increased support for family caregivers, affordable housing and lower prescription drug costs would help improve their lives.

AARP Kentucky advocates will gather today at the Capitol in Frankfort to identify these and other issues for the state’s older residents.

Older adults make up a growing share of Kentucky’s population, according to census data. (NKyTribune file)

Gary Adkins, volunteer state president for AARP Kentucky, said the group will also be pushing for additional funding for the Senior Nutrition Program, which is commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels, along with state family caregiving tax credits and other reforms.

“They have family members or friends who are aging,” Adkins observed. “These things that we are advocating for have a direct impact on every Kentuckian, because what the legislature does for our seniors is going to directly impact upon their family.”

Research shows unpaid care provided by the more than 600,000 caregivers in Kentucky is valued at more than $8 billion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Kentucky adults is a caregiver.

Adkins pointed out measures to better the lives of seniors will directly affect their families, friends and communities.

“We will have grassroots volunteers from all over Kentucky coming in for this event to meet with their legislators, their senators and state representatives to talk about issues that are priorities for our aging Kentuckians,” Adkins explained.

A Kentucky State Data Center analysis of census data finds the number of Kentuckians aged 65 and older increased from around 13% in 2010 to 17% in 2020.

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