Seniors and their advocates are invited to join members of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging this month for Senior Action Days, an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the council and their elected officials on issues of importance to seniors in Arizona.
Two centrally located sessions have been scheduled. The first will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Udall Center, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road. The second is set for Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the El Pueblo Senior Center, 101 W. Irvington Road.
Invited to join the council in the discussion are state legislators and local officials.
The issues facing seniors are growing as the senior population itself increases.
“Two of the fastest growing populations in Arizona are mature adults and children under age 5,” said George Evanoff, a local resident who chairs the council. “By 2020, 25 percent of the state will be 65 years or older.”
The council will gather information provided at the two sessions, and forward it to state legislators in time for the start of the fall legislative session.
Established by state law in 1980, the GACA is a statewide body of 15 members appointed by the governor to serve three-year terms. The council’s purpose, by statute, is to “advise the Governor, Legislature and all State Departments which the Council deems necessary on all matters and issues relating to aging, including the administration of the State Plan on Aging.”
The council’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for older Arizonans.
The GACA advises policy makers and state agencies and works with local communities, private enterprises and older adults across Arizona to accomplish its mission. GACA monitors and develops programs and policies that affect older adults, but does not provide direct services.
As part of its role, the council gathers and assesses information about seniors’ needs and aging trends and makes recommendations to the governor, the legislature and appropriate state agencies.
Through the work of its committees, GACA reviews and develops strategies to address wide-range issues.
Current issues include access to dental care, affordable and accessible transit options, Alzheimer’s disease, mature workforce (employment for people age 50 and older) as well as hearing loss, fall prevention, and family caregiving.
The GACA supports the Governor’s Office on Aging’s role in helping plan for Arizona’s future through active involvement in the Aging 2020 initiative.
Some of the council’s past endeavors have included kinship care, energy and utilities assistance, affordable housing, rural transportation guardian and conservatorship issues, and medication misuse.
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging has been instrumental in providing training and awareness programs concerning vital aging issues.
In addition to creating public and private partnerships, the council strives to hold a major training or awareness event each year.
The GACA tracks federal and state legislation that may have a significant impact on older Arizonans and provides that information through the Legislative Update, a free email newsletter.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-542-4710.