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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Assisted Living Week: Access to Long-Term Care Critical, Oregonians Say

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023   

This week is National Assisted Living Week, highlighting the hard work put in to help older people and people living with disabilities.

Many Oregonians hope to stay in their homes as they age, but it often requires long-term care.

Stacy Larsen, communications director for AARP Oregon, said the organization's studies have seen growing concern about care issues.

"Oregon is one of the fastest aging states in the country and as the population ages," Larsen pointed out. "These questions of caregiving and long-term quality care are top of mind for many, many people, and that certainly was borne out in our research."

According to AARP's Vital Voices survey, 84% of Oregonians think it is important to get to age in place and 72% think it is important to have high-quality long-term care in their communities.

This legislative session, state lawmakers passed protections for LGBTQ+ Oregonians in long-term care facilities. Larsen argued the new law is critical for ensuring everyone is able to age with dignity. She added the measure prohibits actions based wholly or partially on someone's perceived gender identity, sexual orientation or HIV status.

"Those actions might include denying admission, transfer or discharge requests," Larsen outlined. "Perhaps inappropriate room assignments for transgender patients, and denying or restricting medical or nonmedical care."

The people who do the caregiving are also important. Oregon has about 470,000 caregivers who assist loved ones but are not compensated for it. It can be hard to get a break from their duties, but Larsen stressed the state is going to help provide resources.

"We have successfully advocated for budget funding for a soon-to-be-created program that would provide respite support services to family caregivers," Larsen explained. "There's currently very little support for those hundreds of thousands of family caregivers."

Larsen noted AARP also has respite resources available for caregivers.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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