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ND Agency Seeks Guidance on Services for Older Adults

North Dakota's Aging Services Division holds meetings in February and March to get input on how to help people age comfortably at home. (geralt/Pixabay)
North Dakota's Aging Services Division holds meetings in February and March to get input on how to help people age comfortably at home. (geralt/Pixabay)
February 14, 2018

BISMARCK, N. D. – North Dakota is looking for public input on ways to help older adults age comfortably and live independently.

The Department of Human Services' Aging Services Division is hosting meetings around the state, and wants public input to help update the state's Plan on Aging.

According to AARP North Dakota State Director Josh Askvig, the agency will use advice from the public to help support older residents in their homes.

"This is the opportunity for the public to say, 'When I need long-term care services, these are the types of services I think I will need, I know I will need because I've been a caregiver for somebody, or I see that are needed in our community right now,'" Askvig explained.

The Aging Services Division uses federal funds from the Older Americans Act to assist people in finding services such as home-delivered meals, such safety devices as grab bars and chair lifts, and health maintenance, including blood pressure screenings.

The meetings are scheduled across the state through February and early March. The next meetings are in Valley City next Mon., Feb. 19, and Tioga on Tues., Feb. 20.

Askvig said one focus for his organization is ways to give family caregivers time off. More than 62,000 caregivers across North Dakota often perform complex nursing tasks, and he's hopeful that the Aging Services Division can address some of their needs.

"Oftentimes, they report being stressed out, and financially strained in trying to get a break from their work," he said. "So, what are the opportunities for caregivers to get a break from their care needs so that their loved one can stay safe and independent at home? Because if those caregivers aren't providing that service, then somebody's going to have to."

North Dakotans who are unable to attend the public meetings can submit comments to the Aging Services Division through March 15.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND