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GCOA's Senior Issues Newsletter

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Senior Issues Newsletter October 2022


GCOA Remembers Eric Ryan

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From 2004-2022, Eric Ryan served as the Georgia Council on Aging's Communications Specialist, providing support on all levels of the Council's mission and advocacy efforts across the state. Here's a look at some of his memories with the Council over the years. Known for his bright smile, genuine love for others, quick wit, generous hugs, willingness to help, caring attitude, words of encouragement, fierce loyalty, and big heart full of compassion and understanding, Eric never encountered a stranger - to him, every person was a friend he had not yet met.

GCOA and the Aging Services community at large mourn the loss of this bright light. He will forever remain in our hearts.

Eric's full obituary and memorial service are available for viewing HERE.


October CO-AGE Meeting

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There is no cost to attend the meeting but registration is required. Register HERE.

Work Groups

Join a Work Group

Virtual Team Meeting

It's not too late to join a work group! One of the greatest benefits to being a CO-AGE member is the opportunity to participate in issue work groups. 


CO-AGE Issue work groups are critical to the success of our advocacy efforts as we prepare for the upcoming legislative session. It is easy to join a work group and, to keep you safe, the meetings will be held via Zoom.

The upcoming meeting schedule for each work group is as follows:

Medicaid in Assisted Living: 10/4 at 10 am

Teledentistry: 10/17 at 2pm

Funding for Home and Community Based Services: 10/19 at 10am

Work & Save Program: 10/25 at 10am 

Email Nikaela Frederick at to participate! 

Active Aging Week

Active Aging Week
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Active Aging Week challenges society’s diminished expectations of aging by showing that, regardless of age or health conditions, older adults can live as fully as possible in all areas of life—physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental. Active Aging Week is a national initiative that promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by offering older adults the opportunity to experience diverse activities, exercise, and experiences in a safe, friendly, and fun atmosphere.

Learn how you can join with thousands of Active Aging Week supporters to help change the way we age HERE.

GCOA in the Com

GCOA in the Community


Debra Stokes pictured with Council member Lena Richardson and other aging advocates of the CSRA region

GCOA Executive Director, Debra Stokes, recently traveled to Augusta to meet with aging advocates at the Central Savannah River Area Regional Commission to discuss inter-agency partnerships and local initiatives. GCOA looks forward to visits with other AAA's across the state to learn what other regions are doing to support older Georgians.


GCOA Chair, Patti Lyons, was invited to represent the state of Georgia at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health on September 28th. The purpose of the conference was to "catalyze the public and private sectors around a coordinated strategy to accelerate progress and drive transformative change in the U.S. to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and close the disparities surrounding them." More information here.


Nikaela Frederick pictured with Pam Cushenan and Anita LaTourette of the GDHA

To prepare the Teledentistry priority for the upcoming legislative session, CO-AGE is continuing its longtime partnership with the Georgia Dental Hygienist Association (GDHA). GCOA Deputy Director Nikaela Frederick and CO-AGE member Pam Cushenan, spoke about CO-AGE and the priority at the GDHA annual conference to raise awareness about the issue.

Save the Dates

Intern Wanted

Intern Wanted

Early Voting

Vote Boxes

Voting is one of the pillars of advocacy.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th from 7am-7pm.

Advanced voting in Georgia starts on October 17th. Registered voters can vote at any early-voting location in their county. Find a list of polling sites in your county here.


Absentee ballot requests must be made at least 11 days before the election. Download or submit an absentee ballot request here.

For a full "How-to Guide" on the voting process, visit the Georgia Secretary of State website.

Save the Dates

Early Voting

© 2022 Georgia Council on Aging

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