State Agencies Taking Steps to Better Serve Elderly

AUGUST 31, 2004 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Cooperation among state human services operations and other agencies could help fill gaps in service that have plagued state aid for the elderly.

State Aging and Adult Services Director Herb Sanderson is calling on the cooperative effort, and legislators investigating complaints about elderly residents living in squalor are optimistic that Sanderson's plan will work.

Sanderson says the Department of Human Services will need additional statutory authority to get the job done, but Senator Jack Critcher of Grubbs says it's a good first step.  Critcher's requests led to the hearings about gaps in adult services.

Last month, elderly advocates testified before legislative committees about cases of residents being left to live in deplorable conditions even though aging services employees reviewed their residences.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)