Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

Susan NYC / flickr

Sedgwick County commissioners approved additional funding for a program that provides in-home services for older people who have limited physical abilities.

The Senior Care Act program will add two full-time positions in 2018. The program serves people 60 years old and older in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

The program provides in-home help with personal care, meals, appointments, and light housework.

Annette Graham with the Sedgwick County Division on Aging says 170 seniors are receiving services, and another 200 are on a waiting list.

PHIL CAUTHON / KHI News Service/File photo

A Democratic candidate for Kansas governor says the Brownback administration is bent on privatizing a key mental health facility.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has unveiled a proposal to build a new mental hospital at Osawatomie, which a Tennessee company would run.

But Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward says the agency should be exploring in-house options.

"This administration has a terrible history of privatization. Whether it be child support collection, DCF, KanCare,” Ward says.

PHIL CAUTHON / KHI News Service/File photo

Staff at Kansas’ troubled Osawatomie State Hospital got a first glimpse Tuesday at a proposal to privatize it.

The staff want to know what type of therapies the mental health facility would offer if privatized, and whether it would turn people away who don’t have insurance.

The Tennessee company that wants to operate it says it would not.

But there are other questions, too, about staff pay and pensions.

Lisa Edmonds, flickr Creative Commons

An agency that helps older adults navigate life transitions is adjusting to meet current and future needs in the community.

The Central Plains Area Agency on Aging serves people aged 60 years and older in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

The agency says it’s noticing a change when it comes to nutrition programs offered in the tri-county area.

Agency executive director Annette Graham says more seniors are using a home-delivery meal program instead of going to community sites where meals are offered.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

Editor’s note: Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997, after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up — by a third in just the last five years — and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes. The Kansas News Service investigated problems in the system and possible solutions. This is the third story in a series.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Costs to secure four state-run hospitals under Kansas’ concealed carry law could run close to $12 million annually, with an additional $1 million needed in the first months, according to a new “action plan” from state officials.

Kansas News Service/ File Photo

A Kansas House committee overseeing budgets for social services offered appreciation to programs serving the elderly and people with disabilities or mental illnesses.

Legislators may not be able to offer much more than that.

Bryan Thompson / Kansas News Service/File photo

Federal officials are evaluating a state plan to fix problems in Medicaid with disability support services for Kansans.

State officials submitted the plan Tuesday after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified them in December about deficiencies uncovered during audits last year of KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

A last-minute grant from the State of Kansas is helping a suicide prevention call center in Lawrence stay open.

Headquarters Counseling Center serves 104 of the state's 105 counties by fielding calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The organization has been struggling to stay open because of a funding crunch.

Last week, Executive Director Andy Brown received an unexpected call: It was from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services offering a $25,000 grant.

Phil Cauthon for KHI News Service

The state is seeking a private partner to operate Osawatomie State Hospital under a proposal that would allow the contractor to shift more than half the hospital’s beds to other parts of eastern Kansas.

A request for proposals to operate Osawatomie State Hospital was posted Monday on the Kansas Department of Administration website. It would require a contractor to maintain 206 beds for inpatient mental health treatment but said only 94 would have to be at Osawatomie State Hospital. Any remaining beds would have to be in the hospital’s catchment area, which covers eastern Kansas.

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