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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter November 2023


Nominate a Distinguished Older Georgian

The Georgia Council on Aging is accepting nominations for the

2024 Distinguished Older Georgian!

We hope to receive at least one nomination from each Area Agency on Aging across the state to make sure that each region of Georgia is represented.

In order to be eligible for nomination, one must: 

  • be 70 or older. Please include age or birth date to be considered for qualification 

  • have rendered service to seniors on a community, state or federal level, and 

  • be recognized as a role model for positive aging, and 

  • have demonstrated a life of work acknowledged by general consensus as being of great benefit to a large number of people, or have made some significant contribution to society through occupational or volunteer efforts 

Download the application HERE. Send completed applications to

The deadline is December 1, 2023. The winner will be announced during Senior Week 2024.

CO-AGE Announcements


Breaking News from Under the Gold Dome

Governor Kemp has called a Special Legislative Session to convene on November 29, 2023.  The purpose of the meeting 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. Read the full proclamation HERE.

Weekly CO-AGE updates from Capitol Hill will start back in January.





It's not too late to join a Work Group! 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 strategies to bring about change. CO-AGE priority Work Groups are critical to the success of our advocacy efforts as we prepare for the 2024 legislative session.

November Work Groups will meet on the following dates:


Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) Work Group- Tuesday, 11/14/2023 at 1pm


Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Work Group- Thursday, 11/16/23 at 10am


Multidisciplinary Teams for Adult Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation Work Group- Thursday, 11/16/2023 at 1pm

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

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Read more about the issues HERE

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

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 good personal story.


GA Division of Aging Services Updates

Free guidance for Medicare Open Enrollment until December 7th from Georgia's State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Read more HERE.

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Help us make this season brighter for older adults and people with disabilities. Your generosity will make a difference in someone’s life. The goal of Light Up the Holidays is to connect DAS clients with gift sponsors who can make their holiday brighter. Click the flyer for more information.

DAS Updates

GCOA in the Community

GCOA Chair, Patti Lyons, recently made an appearance on PBS News Hour to give perspective on how a government shutdown would impact older adults across the country. Watch the clip HERE.

GCOA Vice Chair, Dr. Adrienne Mims, has just been announced as the new Chair serving on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services. ​Read more HERE.

GCOA Executive Director, Debra Stokes, participated in a panel and workshop called "A Time to Remember: A Community Conversation on Alzheimer's" hosted by HEAL Collaborative. The panel included experts, caregivers, and policymakers who shared a wealth of knowledge with the audience. 

Council member, Sharise Byrd, represented GCOA at a recent House Rural Development Council meeting giving a presentation on aging in rural Georgia. She provided an overview of GCOA, CO-AGE, the 2024 priorities, and considerations for older adults in rural Georgia in the coming years. Watch the meeting HERE.


Last week, Forsyth Senior Services hosted a legislative breakfast in collaboration with GCOA and Age Well Forsyth. Six members of the Forsyth County Delegation participated in an engaging Q&A session with constituents moderated by Council member, Vicki Johnson. 

GCOA in the Com
Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from GCOA

Save the Dates

Save the Dates

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© 2023 Georgia Council on Aging

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