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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter December 2023


Georgia's Special Session 2023

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Capitol. The Georgia Council on Aging has been back under the Gold Dome as the Governor has called a Special Session, which started on Wednesday, November 29th. The purpose of the Special Session is to revise the districts from which members of the Georgia State Senate, State House of Representatives, and House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress are elected. Advocates and constituents alike are letting their voices be heard on this important decision. The House and Senate Redistricting Committees are welcoming public comment on the Georgia General Assembly website's Public Comment Portal.

Additionally, the Georgia Council on Aging is filing a public comment in opposition to proposed Department of Community Health (DCH) rules revisions that impact minimum staffing requirements in residential Memory Care Centers, Assisted Living Communities, and Personal Care Homes. For more information about the proposed changes, visit To file a public comment, due by December 13 at 5:00 p.m., send an email to

As we approach the 2024 Legislative Session, which starts in January, remember that the CO-AGE Advocacy Toolkit is available for your convenience as a reminder of how you can be involved in the advocacy process to help make a difference and improve the lives of older Georgians statewide!

CO-AGE Announcements

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Last Call to participate in a Work Group! December is our last month of Work Groups as we prepare for the 2024 Legislative Session. It's not too late to join in and share your input! Meetings are held via Zoom and last for an hour. This is a time to flesh out the issues, collect all the necessary data and information, and ultimately determine the best advocacy strategies to bring about change. The December Work Groups will meet on the following dates:

Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) Work Group- Tuesday, 12/12/2023 at 1pm


Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Work Group- Thursday, 12/14/23 at 10am


Multidisciplinary Teams for Adult Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation Work Group- Thursday, 12/14/2023 at 1pm

To sign up for a work group, contact GCOA Communications Specialist, Patrice Parker, at

Anyone interested in advocating with or on behalf of older adults can join CO-AGE. Individual Membership is only $10! Paid members have the distinctive ability to submit and vote on the issues that GCOA and CO-AGE take to the Capitol and reduced rates for CO-AGE events. Join HERE!

If you are already a member, make sure that your list of CO-AGE organizational members is up-to-date. To report changes or updates to your membership, please contact


Do you know someone who:


  • Is over 70

  • Has rendered services to seniors

  • Can be recognized as a role model for positive aging

  • Has made significant contributions to the aging community

If so, nominate them to be recognized as the 2024 Distinguished Older Georgian by filing out the Nomination Form.

Deadline Extended to December 15, 2023

Share Your Personal Stories


Budget funding and legislation are greatly influenced by the personal experiences of older Georgians. Legislators want to hear about how you are affected by the budget and current laws of the state. GCOA can't succeed without YOU!! 

Please click HERE to see how to submit a personal story.


GA Division of Aging Services Updates

Canned Goods

Georgia Department of Human Services Shares Food Bank Resources for Georgians Waiting on SNAP. Read the press release HERE.

“Stay Informed. Stay Covered.” Campaign Provides Update at Midway Point in Georgia's Campaign to Keep Eligible Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids® Members Covered. Read the press release HERE.

DAS Updates

GCOA in the Community

GCOA Legislative Chair/Founder and President of the Thanks Mom and Dad Fund, Maureen Kelly was all smiles at the Thanks Mom and Dad Thanks a Million Gala at the Georgia Aquarium. The Thanks Mom and Dad Fund, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, is a charity created to honor parents, grandparents and mentors by supporting programs and services for the aging population. It works to improve the quality of life for older adults and honors the contributions of older adults one generation to another by raising funds and making grants to agencies serving them.

GCOA CO-AGE Chair, Eve Anthony who serves as President/CEO of the Athens Community Council on Aging, celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way. The agency raised $39,000 for their annual Thanksgiving fundraiser, distributing nearly 300 turkeys and preparing 200 meals for over 500 seniors in Northeast Georgia.

Eve was also recently featured in Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the 500 Most Influential Leaders in the State in 2023. Read the magazine article HERE.

GCOA Executive Director, Debra Stokes, was recognized in the Georgia State University Gerontology Institute's 50th Anniversary celebration, which has been honoring 50 individuals over 50 who have contributed to the Gerontology Institute as well as the field of Aging.

GCOA Deputy Director, Nikaela Frederick, was spotlighted as one of the Young Government Leaders of Atlanta's 40 Under 40 in 2023. The award is presented to young professionals working at the federal, state, or local government level who are making a difference in their communities.

GCOA in the Com
Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from GCOA

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!

Save the Dates

Save the Dates

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© 2023 Georgia Council on Aging

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