Roz Baker garners national recognition in PBS publication

Roz Baker

The Maui News – West and South Maui state Sen. Roz Baker has been named a 2017 Influencer in Aging by PBS’ Next Avenue, the publication announced Wednesday.

The veteran lawmaker was one of 50 people nationwide be honored by Next Avenue, which describes itself as public media’s first and only digital publication dedicated to covering issues for people 50 and older. The annual list includes advocates, researchers, innovators, writers and experts who are changing how people age and how they think about aging.

“Influencers” are honored in categories of health and well-being, caregiving, money and security, work and purpose and living and learning.

Baker was selected for her support of family caregivers. Next Avenue said it chose Baker because she “has spent her political career advocating for her most vulnerable constituents.” In 2017, Baker sponsored Senate Bill 534 to provide relief for caregivers, especially families for whom assisted-living facilities are too expensive.

“Baker’s bill, which Gov. David Ige signed into law July 6, funds a benefit program that would offer financial support to families helping to provide care for vulnerable older adults. A longtime proponent of accessible health care, Baker focuses on education, domestic violence prevention and elder care.”

When asked what she would change about aging in America, Baker said that she would “improve protection of elders from abuse — financial, cyber, physical or psychological — by family members and others, by raising awareness through educating older adults, caregivers, law enforcement and older adult-serving agencies and providers while strengthening state and federal adult protection laws.”