Vermont's Seniors: Caring for our Elders
Our state's population is aging. Vermont's elders will represent one fifth of our population by 2025. This demographic shift will place higher demands on health care, assisted living and other services. We owe a lot to our elders, not only because of all they have done for us in the past, but because they are a critical part of Vermont's present community, volunteering their time, experience and wisdom to improve our state. Peter is committed to caring for our elders by increasing access to home care, continuing the fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and improving our public transportation system.
Our elders often prefer to receive care at home. This is of course easily understandable from an emotional perspective: it allows them to remain in a comforting and familiar environment, conserve precious financial resources, and maintain a higher degree of independence. As Democratic Leader in the Senate in 1996, Peter helped pass Act 160, a bill that has resulted in the dramatic drop of Vermonters living in nursing homes. Peter is proud of the fact that this legislation has allowed many more Vermonters the option of choosing home-based or community-based care environments.
Peter also led a long struggle to reduce the costs of prescription drugs. Peter co-founded NLARX, a regional non-profit, to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible to Vermonters. This work continued in 2009, when the Vermont Senate passed a groundbreaking bill requiring drug companies to report their gifts to doctors.
Our Future Together
As the population continues to age, much work remains to properly care for our elders. Unfortunately, home care costs, as well as costs of most other long-term care services, are higher in Vermont than nationally. As Governor, Peter will work closely with home care providers, medical professionals and communities to reduce these costs, all in the interest of allowing our elders to live at home or in community-based care facilities for as long as they are able.