Advocacy group for elderly meets in Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) met to persuade state legislators to address issues facing the elderly for the 2017 legislature.

Elder abuse, transportation and dental assistance were prominent issues.

“Fighting/preventing elder abuse runs through several of the issues, and ways to help people stay in their home longer,” Kathy Floyd, Executive Director for the Georgia Counsel on Aging said. “And also to be protected once they have a caregiver in the home or in  a facility of any kind.”

According to CO-AGE, elders that live at home instead of a nursing home or facility is at an all time high.

“If you ask people, the stats are staggering, 90-95 percent of people prefer to stay at home,” Doug Lueder, the owner of Prosper Home Care said. “Do you want to go to a facility or do you want to stay at home? 95 percent of people want to stay at home. Its less expensive, the outcomes are better, people are happier, so that’s why home care is growing so rapidly.”

Led by the Georgia Council on Aging, CO-AGE awarded Rep. Valerie Clark (R-Lawrenceville) with its Legislator of the Year Award. Clark co-sponsored HB1037, which was signed into law on April 26. The bill allowed complaints to be made against nurses working in home settings. Before HB1037, complaints could only be made in facility settings.

CO-AGE came up with ten issues for elderly people in Georgia that will be voted on in the next to weeks by the approximate 600 members. The issues that receive the most votes will be passed onto the state legislature, in hopes of their concerns being addressed in 2017.

For more information on how to join the elder’s advocacy group in Georgia, visit http://www.gcoa.org/.

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