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Home / Author Archives: Jorge Salazar, Cronkite News Service

Author Archives: Jorge Salazar, Cronkite News Service

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As Arizona ages, rural elderly face lack of access to medical care, services

Arizona is growing older. An estimated 13 percent of Arizonans were age 65 or older in 2009. That percentage is expected to almost double by 2020, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s State Plan on Aging.

That aging is especially pronounced in rural areas. Of the four counties that already had more than one out of five residents age 65 or older in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, all are in rural areas: La Paz, 32.1 percent; Yavapai, 23.8 percent; and Gila and Mohave, 22.4 percent.

As this shift occurs, experts and advocates warn that rural areas in particular will lack the doctors, care homes, transportation and other services needed by an older population.

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House committee OKs bill to force school procedures on bullying

Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix introduced a bill calling for disciplinary action against school employees, from administrators to teachers to janitors, who fail to file detailed reports about bullying. The bill also would allow parents and students to fill out forms to report incidents of bullying. It would require schools to contact emergency services, including police and paramedics, when appropriate.

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