Kudos for McConnell

  • Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Editor:

We applaud Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell’s efforts to highlight the concerns of our rapidly growing senior population. This month, McConnell, who heads the state Office on Aging, is touring retirement homes, senior centers and assisted-living facilities throughout the state.
The Lt. Governor will be listening to the issues and needs of our state’s older adults, their families and their care providers.
The South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition (“SCAIPC”) is a South Carolina non-profit with over 90 members dedicated to helping seniors age in place successfully. As the only organization made up of private, public/government and non-profit sectors of our community dedicated to this purpose, we welcome the Lt. Governor’s initiative.
McConnell confirms the message he has been receiving from seniors that they want to stay in their residences and to remain independent as they age.  The SCAIPC’s mission is to educate the public on the resources available to help seniors age in place and why it’s important to plan ahead.  As they age, no two seniors’ needs are exactly alike.  Often, a unique aging-in-place plan needs to be tailored to each individual.
With the medium annual cost of a nursing home exceeding $80,000 today, the Lt. Governor is well aware of the burden such expense would inflict on seniors and their families. Most families are not financially prepared and neither is our state/federal Medicaid program.
With over 550,000 older adults 65 and older in the state and the numbers growing exponentially, McConnell knows that unless more resources are directed to “aging-in-place” to help families cope, the Medicaid program will swamp all other state expenditure priorities.
We invite our fellow South Carolina citizens and our state lawmakers to join with Lt. Governor McConnell as he strives to redirect our public and private resources to help our older citizens and their families to remain in their residences as long as possible. 
For more information on the South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition, visit us at www.scaipc.org.
On Sept. 24-25, McConnell tours the Tri-County area. The location of his question-and-answer forum will be announced in the near future on the state’s Office on Aging website at www.aging.sc.gov.
 
Mark Smith
Chairman, South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition

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