AARP asked candidates for South Dakota governor how they would protect elders from financial abuse, provide increased transportation options, ensure access to telehealth, shore up quality home care services and allow more South Dakotans to age at home.
QUESTION 1: A recent nationwide study estimated financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse to be at least $2.9 billion. How will you support strengthening laws to protect seniors from abuse and financial exploitation? Will you support legislation to strengthen Adult Protective Services, strengthen guardianship and power attorney laws, increase civil or criminal penalties against financial exploitation, and create multidisciplinary teams to fight elder financial exploitation?
QUESTION 2: Transportation is a vital link that connects older adults and people of all ages to social activities, economic opportunity, and community services that support their independence. Many older adults need specialized transportation services to help get to and from physician’s offices. What would you do to expand mobility options for those who cannot or choose not to drive? What is your strategy to increase transportation options in our state, including in rural communities, and to assure those options are available and accessible for everyone?
QUESTION 3: Telehealth helps older adults, people with disabilities, those with language access issues, and all South Dakotans access health and home and community care in new ways and makes it easier for family caregivers to care for their loved ones. What would you do to help family caregivers and their loved ones have greater access to telehealth?
QUESTION 4: The majority of South Dakota residents want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. One way to ensure that they don’t have to move from their homes is to redirect spending away from more costly nursing home care and into home and community based services (HCBS). How will you help expand South Dakota seniors’ access to quality services provided at home and in the community?
QUESTION 5: Americans over 65 are the fastest-growing segment of the population and research shows that most want to remain in their homes and communities as they age. What steps would you take to encourage the construction and renovation of housing that allows for greater accessibility and independence, therefore enabling residents to remain in their homes as they age?