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First Time Forum Explores Issues Affecting Elderly, Rural Oregonians

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The needs and challenges of elderly people in rural areas are the focus of a new event being held this week in Hood River.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.  

Nearly 200 people have signed up for the “2017 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon”, which is being held at the Best Western Hood River Inn, from April 20-21st.  Topics include homecare, community-based care,  fighting ageism, as well as finding behavioral and medical support services.

Robert Duehmig is Deputy Director of the Oregon Office of Rural Health.  He says one key issue for aging Oregonians in rural areas is access.

“And that’s access to all types of providers that have an understanding of our aging populations," explains Duehmig.  "Access to pharmacies for all of the medications that they may need.  Social services…do they have the things that they need to make sure that they’re eating well and that their homes are heated properly?  

"And if they have family caregivers, are those caregivers getting access to support that they need?” 

The event runs through Friday. It’s for anyone wanting to help seniors grow older in rural communities.  Duehmig says organizers hope to make this forum a regular event.  

Copyright 2017, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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