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Geriatric issues top symposium this week in Hays

10/20/2012

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

Health care providers and those interested in the concerns of the elderly will have an opportunity to expand their awareness of geriatric issues at a symposium Thursday and Friday in Hays.

Sponsored by Clinkscales Elder Law Practice and the University of Kansas Area Health Education Center-Northwest, the symposium will feature breakout sessions with Kansas Secretary of Aging Shawn Sullivan, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser and other professionals.

The symposium is an outgrowth of the mission of Clinkscales law firm to provide information to senior citizens and care providers.

"One of the things we like to do is make sure health care providers and members of our community are educated on Medicaid so that there's lower chances that they receive inappropriate information," said Pam Blau, Clinkscales Elder Law Practice care coordinator. "For example, we don't want anyone to sell their home just because they're afraid they might have to get on Medicaid."

Although the symposium, which will be at Fanchon Ballroom, 2250 E. Eighth, is geared toward health care providers, Blau said anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.

Of particular concern for seniors is the Jan. 13 implementation of KanCare, the state of Kansas' plan to transition Kansas Medicaid into an integrated care model. Kansas has contracted with three new health plans or managed care organizations to begin coordinating health care for nearly all Medicaid beneficiaries.

"That's really frightening for a lot of people," Blau said. "That's why we wanted Secretary Sullivan to come and talk to people, so they understand about the new KanCare and how it's going to affect our geriatric population."

Sessions on advance directives, veterans' benefits, caregiving, conflict management, dementia, grief experiences and emergency preparedness also will be provided throughout the two-day symposium.

"There's a lot of good information," said Josh Clinkscales, outreach and education director for Clinkscales Elder Law Practice.

Registration for the symposium is available by calling (785) 625-8040. For more information, visit www.KS-eldercare.com.