Florida has more elderly residents than any other state. With that, comes the discussion of health care. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was in Gainesville on Monday to discuss how to improve it.
"The population is aging. The question is how do we have a higher quality of life for our senior citizens?" said Nelson. It's a question he's trying to answer. He's meeting with some of North Central Florida's research leaders in a round table discussion. Senator Nelson explains what work has been put in so far. "We started with the healthcare reform bill. That's trying to modernize medicare. Also trying to save medicare financially, but we've got a long way to go." said Nelson. Something Nelson is working toward as the newly named chairman of the senate's special committee on aging. Dr. Marco Pahor, the director of the University of Florida's Institute on Aging, says he and his team have one concern affecting the elderly. "It makes a huge difference if you can or cannot walk. It's part of your everyday life and everyday activity." said Pahor. It's an issue doctor Pahor hopes to solve when the new institute on aging opens in the next few months. The institute received a grant of 5.2 million dollars this past summer. And with this new institute, doctor Pahor hopes to prevent other risks for those who can't walk. "a risk factor for future mobility for dimensia and for institutionalization and ultimately for longevity." said Pahor. Senator Nelson will be in Tallahassee on Tuesday discussing several issues such as making long-term care insurance more affordable and controlling medicare costs without cutting benefits.