Advocate: Oklahoma needs to improve its poor nursing home rankings

BY CHARLES R. CLARK Published: September 6, 2013
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Attracting and retaining a qualified workforce in nursing homes is a significant problem. What's your perception of nursing homes? Do you see visiting and caring for Oklahoma's older population as a profession worthy of consideration? There are many heroes and heroines who choose this profession and add countless joy and longevity to older Oklahomans' lives. The recruitment of such individuals begins with Oklahoma's citizenry showing how much it values the professional individuals who care for our elderly neighbors.

Everyone ages. Not all of us are fortunate enough to have ample savings to provide for our care or to have family members who'll be able to take care of us in our latter years. As the number of older Oklahomans continues to increase rapidly, the state will require residences where individuals can get professional and caring oversight in the twilight of life.

Let's not allow another day to pass without expressing our commitment to improving the state's poor rankings. Before we know it, we'll all be faced with this question: Who will take care of me?

Clark, of Ponca City, is a member of the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature and the Oklahoma Council on Aging.