What's critical for older adults? - The Explorer: El Sol

What's critical for older adults?

Local agencies conducting surveys, comment sessions; one is Thursday at library in Marana

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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Special to The Explorer

An effort is under way to rank "the top critical issues affecting older adults" in Pima County, according to a release from Pima Council on Aging.

To learn what people think, a series of nine public comment sessions is being held during October. The first is this Thursday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr., Library, 7800 N. Schisler in Marana. A second Northwest session is set for Thursday, Oct. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Nanini Public Library, 7300 N. Shannon.

Pima Council on Aging, Pima County government, the city of Tucson, United Way and the Center on Aging at the University of Arizona are working to develop the public area plan on aging for the years 2011-'13.

In October, they'll ask older adults to complete a survey, hold the public comment meetings, and gather focus groups of professionals in the social, health and business sectors.

Surveys are available at the PCOA office, 8467 E. Broadway. They must be returned by Nov. 13. People may visit www.pcoa.org to download the survey and return it.

"Every survey tells us and our community partners what is critical and most urgent in terms of aging services and unmet needs affecting older adults and their caregivers," a release said.

Every three years, the Pima Council on Aging creates an area plan on aging issues. Its community comment and aging issues assessment "is the only public information campaign of its kind offered to residents who are affected by and advocating for the health, safety and well being of older residents," the release said.

Older Americans are defined as those aged 60 and over.

"That said, there are thousands of local area residents who are the primary family caregivers of an ailing parent or grandparent," the release said. "We believe a more realistic age framework to define an older adult age is 50s and older."

PCOA's typical clients include a large cohort of family caregivers, among them women in their 40s and 50s who are working, may be the single head of household or married and working. "She and partner or spouse are raising a family, and she / he is the unpaid primary caregiver of a parent or grandparent," the release said.

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