By Missy Masterson Hale, May 10, 2022

The Department of Human Services, Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Services, and the Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging work cooperatively to manage all phases of this statewide project. The Silver Haired Legislative Session (SHLS) has been conducted biennially since its institution by a General Assembly resolution sponsored by Rep. B. G. Hendrix and the late Rep. W. F. “Bill” Foster in 1977. It is one of at least 28 such sessions held throughout the country to give senior citizens a chance to participate in the legislative process.

One of the purposes of the SHLS is to bring important aging issues to the attention of state legislators and the general public. A primary goal is to help SHL Delegates to become effective advocates for all senior citizens.

Since the passage of the authorizing resolution, Silver Haired Legislative Sessions have been held in the summer or fall of even-numbered years, prior to the convening of the Arkansas General Assembly the following January.

The 22nd Biennial Silver Haired Legislative Session will take place on August 17 – 18, 2022 at the State Capitol.  Delegates serve as legislators in this non-partisan session by writing, debating, and voting on bills addressing issues critical to older Arkansans. All legislation is distributed to the Arkansas General Assembly and to organizations involved in working with the senior population. Training sessions are currently being held throughout Arkansas.

I am the Delegate to the SHLS from Hot Springs Village and I would like to hear from you. What are your concerns? What difficulties are you having? Please email me at so I can bring your issues to the attention of the Silver Haired Legislative Session.  If enough seniors are having the same or similar problems, we can write the bills that will bring them before the State of Arkansas General Assembly, as well as other Aging organizations. 

If you’re located in a state other than Arkansas, do an internet search to see if your state has a Silver Haired Legislature… 28 states do! You can click the link below for more information.


Missy Masterson Hale HSV Author

Missy Masterson Hale

Missy Masterson Hale is a Registered Nurse, Geriatric Care Manager, Professional Legal Nurse Consultant, and a Representative to the State of Arkansas’ Silver-Haired Legislature. Since she retired from the Area Agency on Aging as their Director of Health Services, she has returned to acting in community theatre, most notably playing the lead role in “Texanna”, a musical written in honor of Texas’ Sesquicentennial and produced by the State of Texas. Her favorite role was as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” and The Writer in “Words”, an original play by HSV playwright, Glenn Calloway. In late summer 2022, she will be directing an Old Time Radio Theatre, “Vintage Hitchcock.” She has also written and produced several instructional and educational videos for nurse’s aides, canine behavior pieces for national publications, and poetry on a variety of topics. Missy lives on Lake Balboa in HSV with her Golden Retriever, “Brother Butter the Benevolent and Beloved”, a German Shepherd named “Bellatrix the Brave and the Beautiful”, and a geriatric Cockatiel named Bart. She loves to read, write, train dogs and take long road trips for good barbecue. She is a past President of The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and holds an additional degree in veterinary nursing.