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Caregivers Promote Legislation to Assist Their Work

The AARP of Kentucky estimates that nearly 650,000 Kentuckians provide care for a parent, spouse, or other adult, resulting in unpaid services valued at nearly $7 billion a year.

The organization joined with The Alzheimer’s Association and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology in Frankfort on Wednesday to draw attention to the issue and to promote measures that would improve the quality of life for caregivers and those they serve.

Charles Williams, an AARP volunteer from La Grange, described his experiences as a caregiver and summarized legislation for the General Assembly to consider.

Talking about death is difficult for many people, but Dr. Graham Rowles prefers to tackle the subject head on. Rowles is a professor of gerontology at the University of Kentucky and chair of the state’s Institute of Aging.

Gov. Matt Bevin made a surprise appearance at Wednesday’s rally to acknowledge the importance of advocating for caregivers and allowing individuals to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

The governor has proposed 9 percent cuts to most state budget items in the new biennium. How such a funding reduction might affect agencies and programs that serve aging and vulnerable populations remains to be determined.

Follow @ReneeKET on Twitter for updates throughout the day, and for a recap of the full day’s activities, watch Legislative Update, weeknights at 11 on KET. You can also follow the Kentucky General Assembly on KET’s Legislative Coverage app for your smartphone or tablet.