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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter December 2022


GCOA Salutes Speaker David Ralston

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The Georgia Council on Aging extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Speaker David Ralston. Speaker Ralston was a dedicated advocate for all people but had a special place in his heart for older adults. His strength, leadership, and compassion will be greatly missed.
The Speaker of the House is one of the state officials who appoints Council members. Speaker Ralston's final appointees are current Council members: Vicki Johnson, John Rhodes, and Ann Williams. Former Council Chair, Vicki Johnson, remembers him as a "principled and

fair-minded leader".

Read his full obituary HERE.

 CO-AGE Priorities

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The 2023 Legislative Session is just a month away!

GCOA will be taking the following four issues to the Capitol this upcoming year.

Visit for the 2023 issue summaries and virtual brochure!

The GCOA Advocacy Toolkit is available to help you advocate in your local community. Access it HERE. We look forward to hearing about your legislative breakfasts and other advocacy functions. Be sure to tag us in your social media posts and send pictures of your local events!



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The Georgia Council on Aging's Coalition of Advocates for Georgia's Elderly (CO-AGE) is meant to be:

  • a forum to identify and address concerns of older Georgians

  • a vehicle for bringing broad-based input on aging issues from across the state

  • a diverse group of organizations, individuals, consumers and providers interested in "aging specific" and inter-generational issues

  • a unifying force communicating the importance of providing supportive communities and adequate services & programs for older Georgians

Anyone interested in advocating with or on behalf of older adults can join

CO-AGE. Individual Membership is only $10! Sign up HERE or

scan this QR Code: 

For those who missed the October 2022 CO-AGE meeting, it is available for viewing HERE

Email Nikaela Frederick at for assistance

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Final Work Groups

Work Group

This month is the final opportunity to participate in a work group for the 2023 priorities! Even if you haven't participated up to this point, we welcome and value your input as we prepare to take the issues to the Capitol next month. CO-AGE Issue work groups are critical to the success of our advocacy efforts.

The upcoming meeting schedule for each Work Group is as follows:


Improvements to Assisted Living Communities: 12/6 at 10am

Work & Save Program: 12/13 at 11am

Funding for Home and Community Based Services: 12/14 at 10am

Teledentistry: 12/19 at 2pm

Contact Nikaela at to join a Work Group

GCOA in the Com

GCOA in the Community

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Late Council member, Lorene Lindsey, was honored at the Thanks Mom and Dad Fund's, annual Thanks A Million Gala. Thanks Mom and Dad Fund is a charity created to honor parents, grandparents and mentors by supporting programs and services for the aging population. GCOA Legislative Chair, Maureen Kelly, is Founder and President of the organization.

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GCOA remembers CO-AGE member and longtime aging advocate, Dr. Lois Ricci. 

Dr. Ricci spent her life caring for others through a career that reflected her servant’s heart. Over the years, she has served as a Registered Nurse, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Professor of Gerontology, President of the Georgia Gerontology Society and more. She did not work for accolades, but rather she genuinely cared for and loved people. The Aging Services community mourns the loss of this wonderful servant leader. Read her full obituary HERE.


Council Member, Melba Paulk-Veazy, received commendation from Governor Brian Kemp and Ocilla Mayor, Horace Hudgins, for her years of service to her community and state. GCOA celebrates and salutes Melba for this prestigious honor.

Save the Dates

Intern Wanted

Intern Wanted

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from GCOA

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Save the Dates

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Happy Holidays
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© 2022 Georgia Council on Aging   404-281-0430

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2 Peachtree St., NW, Suite 32-270, Atlanta, GA 30303-3142

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