Northeast Arkansas Senior's Organization Receives Federal Grant

OCTOBER 5, 2006 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An organization in northeast Arkansas providing care to senior citizens will receive $500,000 in federal grant money, several members of the state's congressional delegation announced yesterday.

Allcare of Arkansas provides help to seniors who otherwise would need to be placed in nursing homes.  The program will partner with St. Bernard's Healthcare in Jonesboro and the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging to help seniors in rural areas.

The grant, awarded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Rural PACE Provider Grant Program, was announced by Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln, and Congressman Marion Berry, all Democrats from Arkansas.

About one-fifth of the nation's elderly live in rural areas.  Compared to those in cities, rural seniors are generally older, report worse health, live in poverty and are more likely to be placed in a nursing home.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)