Resident to study issues of aging

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Dickerson appointed to legislative committee that aids older Texans

A Denton resident has been appointed to the state’s Legislative Committee on Aging, which is dedicated to studying the issues aging Texans face, such as not having access to decent nursing facilities.

Ben E. Dickerson’s appointment was announced last week. He will work with other committee members in the upcoming 83rd Texas Legislature to make recommendations on actions officials should take regarding the state’s elderly population.

Committee member Betty Lee Streckfuss from Harris County recommended that Dickerson be appointed to the committee after she learned of his years of work with the elderly.

“His resume speaks for itself,” she said. “The other committee members haven’t met him yet, but they will be very excited about his tremendous contributions.”

He will join six other committee members, which includes two senators, two House representatives and two public members, according to the committee’s website.

He is an adjunct faculty member at North Central Texas College and Weatherford College, and a director emeritus and professor emeritus at the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community.

Dickerson, who could not be reached for comment, also is a private consultant, licensed professional counselor, speaker and educator, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Dickerson, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 20 years and retired as a colonel, received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University, and a doctorate of sociology from Louisiana State University.

“He’s fantastic, and his credentials are impeccable,” Streckfuss said.

Streckfuss said that in this session, the committee would probably pay close attention to health care for the elderly, areas she said Dickerson has experience in studying. She said the committee works to help all senior citizens achieve independence.

The committee will have its first meeting sometime in either late winter or early spring, she said.

According to the governor’s office website, appointments are made after a person completes an application process, which includes submitting a letter of recommendation and a questionnaire.

Applicants must also be 18 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen, mentally competent, a Texas resident, a registered voter and cannot be a convicted felon.

The Texas Legislative Committee on Aging was established during the 81st Texas Legislature after House Bill 610 passed.

The committee was established to study issues relating to the aging population of Texas, including issues related to the health care, income, transportation, housing, education and employment needs of that population.

“There needs to be awareness of the aging population in the state, which is often ignored,” Streckfuss said. “This session, we’re going to fight hard to make sure issues are addressed.”

Appointment applications can be found on the governor officer website at http://governor.state.tx.us.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .


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