The Oregon Office of Rural Health approached NOSORH this spring to establish an informal interest group to discuss the work of State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) around aging in place in rural America. Twenty-one states and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy expressed interest in meeting periodically to discuss what they are working on or issues in their states pertaining to the elderly in rural communities. Fifteen participated in the inaugural call held on June 2. Topics discussed included the current work of SORH and work with palliative care programs and other home health agencies. Oregon and Washington shared information on conferences they are hosting in addition to a few grant initiatives they are working on. Additionally, the PACE (Programs for the All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly) program was reviewed along with the challenges of implementing in a rural setting.
The group will continue to meet quarterly to share resources and ideas on this increasingly important topic. The next call is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 26 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Future topics will include: state strategies for funding, grant opportunities, food insecurity for seniors, chronic disease self-management, medication reconciliation, oral health, isolation, and best practices, resources and lessons learned when implementing programs in a rural setting.
If you have any questions of the group, you can reach out to members by emailing email@example.com.
If you are interested in joining the group for routine updates, contact Kassie Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in discussing how State Offices of Rural Health can help rural people age in place? NOSORH is developing an interest group on aging in rural America to assist SORH in sharing experiences and resources on the unique issues surrounding the topic.
The Oregon Office of Rural Health recently conducted a study on long term care facilities finding there are few available and they are not sustainable. “Fighting ageism, understanding the value added for retirees and enabling aging in place were the themes that emerged the more conversations we had about aging in rural Oregon,” said Scott Ekblad, Executive Director for the Oregon SORH.
In response, Oregon is hosting the first annual Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon for community members, family caregivers, elder care professionals, primary care providers, policy makers and philanthropists interested in making it easier for seniors to age in place. “I am interested in talking with others who are also interested in sharing their ideas, experiences and resources on aging in rural,” continues Ekblad.
If you would like to join the conversation, starting in mid-May, please email Kassie Clarke.