By Sally Beauvais
For elderly people living in the rural Big Bend region of West Texas, accessing healthcare can be a struggle. Services like dialysis and at-home hospice care are non-existent in the tri-county area. The closest assisted living facilities and nursing homes are in the Permian Basin and El Paso.
Home health agencies fill in the gaps for many seniors in rural areas who need care after an illness or injury, and who have physical limitations that make it difficult to leave the house.
As a warm up for Thursday night’s town hall on aging and dying in the Big Bend region, Marfa Public Radio’s Sally Beauvais talked to Cynthia Kirkpatrick, the clinical manager and supervising nurse at Agave Home Health in Alpine.
They discuss the services home health providers can and cannot offer seniors in the region, as well as the changes coming to Medicare in 2020 and ensuing financial challenges that could limit the kinds of therapies Agave is able to provide moving forward. Listen to their conversation at the top of this page.
Marfa Public Radio and the Big Bend Sentinel are holding a joint town hall on Thursday, November 21 at 6 p.m. dedicated to aging, dying, and access to senior healthcare in the tri-county area. Learn more about the event here.