AARP ranks Washington best for support of seniors, disabled adults

Sen. Barbara Bailey, co-chair of a legislative committee on aging and disability, said she is pleased that a recent report by AARP names Washington as the best state when it comes to addressing the care of seniors and adults with disabilities. Standards for the ranking included Washington’s affordability and access to care, family caregiver support and patient choice for care setting and providers.

“I recognize the challenges that families and caregivers face, having cared for an aging parent myself, and was so glad in 2013 to help create our committee on aging and disability issues,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. “I’ve also proposed policies to help health-care professionals identify and respond to patient needs and expand protections and options for aging and disabled adults.”

AARP recently recognized Bailey’s legislative efforts related to aging-related issues, bestowing its Capitol Caregiver award on her this year. She sponsored the CARE Act in 2016, which expanded support for lay caregivers, and introduced four bills in the 2017 legislative session aimed at aging issues and hearing-loss intervention. Bailey also pushed for legislation that is now law to stiffen penalties for crimes against vulnerable adults.

  • Senate Bill 5691  requires a court to consider less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship – such as power of attorney or a trust – to provide for the needs of impaired individuals.
  • Senate Bill 5180 establishes a legislative advisory committee on aging to review issues of importance to the state’s aging community.
  • Senate Bill 5177, requires long-term care workers be trained to recognize hearing loss in their patients.

“It is heartening to see that I’ve been able to play some role in helping our state’s aging population,” said Bailey. “AARP’s recognition of our hard work will hopefully help other states take similar actions to improve the lives of aging citizens.”