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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter June 2023

New Law

CO-AGE Endorsed Legislation Signed Into Law

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On May 3, 2023 GCOA was in attendance as Governor Kemp signed the Senior Protections from Exploitation Against Retirees (SPEAR) Act into law. Throughout the Legislative Session, CO-AGE officially endorsed this bill sponsored by the Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, with the support of his office's Securities Division. “Thanks to SPEAR, Georgia law now grants financial institutions the ability to slow down and verify transactions involving the accounts of elderly and at-risk Georgians,” said Secretary Raffensperger. Read the press release HERE.


The Governor signed the FY 2024 budget, HB 19, on May 5, 2023 on the grounds of the Hyundai Metaplant in Bryan County. The budget includes $5,464,800 million for

non-Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), an increase of over $1 million from last year, which will move a substantial amount of seniors off waiting lists for services. Read the press release HERE.

Meet Us In Macon

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Registration is now open for the July 2023 CO-AGE Meeting! This year's meeting will once again be held in the city "where soul lives", Macon, GA. Come hear the proposed CO-AGE issues for the 2024 Legislative Session, get important updates from the Georgia Division of Aging Services, and network and fellowship with the best of the best in Aging Services field over a catered meal.


CO-AGE Member Cost: $25 

Non-Member Cost: $ 40

(Registration price will increase by $5 at the door on the day of the event)

For just $10, you can become a CO-AGE member. Vote on the upcoming 2024 CO-AGE issues, get one of our new advocate shirts, and pay the reduced rate for CO-AGE meetings! Join HERE.

CO-AGE voting

CO-AGE Voting Depends on Correct Info

Make sure that your list of CO-AGE organizational members is up-to-date. GCOA will be verifying as many names as possible through the end of June to ensure that your organization doesn't miss out on any votes. To report changes or updates to your membership, please contact


World Elder Abuse Day


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th. The purpose of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

On June 15th, Georgia's 15th Annual Elder Rights Conference will take place at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. This year's theme is “Rock Solid for 15 years: Past, Present & Future.”

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GCOA remembers esteemed Elder Rights advocate and CO-AGE member, Kathy Jones. Kathy's legacy lives on through the Elder Rights Conference. A few weeks ago she was interviewed about the upcoming event which she played a major role in organizing. Watch the interview HERE.

DAS Corner

Are you enrolled in Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids® coverage? Due to the pandemic, Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® eligibility has remained the same since 2020—but redetermination started on April 1, 2023. Update your contact information now so that you can receive the latest alerts about your coverage! Stay informed. Stay covered.

Visit for more information.








Prefer to update your Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids® contact information in person? You can schedule a visit to your local Division of Family and Children Services office. Please note that this requires more time, so it is important to reach out ASAP.

Visit to find the location and business hours for your local office.

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DAS Corner
GCOA in the Com

GCOA in the Community

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(Attendees left to right - Council Member, Sharise Thurman Byrd, and CO-AGE members, Jessica Zagarella, Melissa Armstrong, Becky Kurtz, & Connie White).

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Nikaela Frederick pictured with Lauri Ann Brooks, Dana Chandler and Melissa Cordell of Wesley Woods


Council member, Vicki Johnson, CO-AGE members Carol Hanlon and Tom Bauer, Debra Stokes and Nikaela Frederick pictured with staff of the Cottages at Rockmart

Council member, Sharise Thurman Byrd, recently traveled to Washington DC to advocate on behalf of older Georgians. The US Aging Policy Briefing and Capitol Hill Visits were held in April with attendees from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and Legacy Link Area Agencies on Aging. Dialogue with legislative staff encompassed an array of topics such as support for Older American's Act appropriations.

GCOA Deputy Director, Nikaela Frederick, attended a room dedication ceremony at Wesley Woods of Athens in honor of the late Ann Josey. Her loved ones describe her as a "mother to most and advocate for all who was dedicated to helping seniors find a place called home." 

GCOA and CO-AGE advocacy partners from LeadingAge Georgia and the Wisdom Project met in Rockmart, GA to visit an innovative model of a skilled nursing community. The group gained valuable insight that can be beneficial for the upcoming study committee on the 2022 CO-AGE priority, innovations in long-term care.

Save the Dates

Save the Date

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© 2023 Georgia Council on Aging

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