Forum provides information
By Howell Dennis
CROWLEY – A group of area residents gathered at the LSU AgCenter to listen to a public forum put on by Lori Foreman, who serves as the Disability Education Coordinator for people with disabilities and the elderly for Gulf Coast Teaching Family Services Inc. and New Voices’ Ford Foundation.
The forum had a group of experts and lawyers who gave free advice on various topics pertaining to subjects such as health care, social security, medicare, and aid for people with disabilities.
“I started doing this because I have a daughter who is disabled,” said Foreman. “People need to realize that these forums are free and the information that they can get is invaluable, especially to those who need legal advice and information and may not have the money to pay for it.”
Many of the people in attendance were concerned about health care for their children and elderly relatives.
“The nursing homes in Louisiana are rated as being among the worst in the nation,” said Jackie Perry of the Senior Financial Protection Agency. “We need to get more funding for home care for seniors because when some of them are put into a nursing home they almost feel as though their lives are over.”
“It upsets me that there are people in their 80’s in nursing homes who are World War II veterans,” she continued. “If we can’t take care of these people who can we take care of.”
Foreman is planning several more Informational Health Fairs and Legal Forums to be held in the surrounding rural areas to bring information to people in their “backyards”. Information on housing, disaster preparedness, Medicaid, Social Security, school issues, transportation and other issues will be covered at these events.
Though she isn’t able to personally provide individual services to individuals, her job is to locate and direct assistance to them.
Foreman was somewhat upset with Thursday’s low turnout.
“People need to realize that they can receive this valuable information for free,” she said. “These experts are donating their own time to provide help for those who are in need of it.”