Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Call ins aimed at seniors


February 14, 2019

The Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) will host teleconferences every two weeks through April to a discuss a targeted “watch list” of at least five house bills that may affect senior Alaskans.

Repealing the health-care facilities permitting process, licensing in-home care providers, providing mental health insurance and renewing the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council are among bills that will be discussed.

Lesley Thompson, ACoA planner, said seniors can influence the bills by educating themselves and speaking to their representatives.

There will be a legislative guest speaker at each teleconference, according to Thompson. “They like to talk about their bills being heard because often (the seniors) will testify in favor of the bills,” she said.

Jerry and Diana Pyle, the only Haines seniors at the Jan. 24 conference, said they were glad they joined the meeting, despite their wariness that any legislation will be passed.

“It’s hard to follow this legislation, because it gets debated and debated and debated and it’s a constant hassle with the legislature to actually take action,” Jerry Pyle said. “It’s kind of a hopeless task.”

Senior Center site manager Caroline Hankins hopes to increase participation in the coming months by reaching out to Southeast Alaska Independent Living and Haines Hospice to get the word out.

Haines has more seniors per capita than any community in Alaska, according to a recent report in Alaska Economic Trends.

The next teleconference will be 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, February 21 at the Senior Center.


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