The Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly had record turnout at a gathering last month to consider legislative priorities for 2016 and came away with two critical areas of focus: creating a registry to catalog and document abuse of the disabled and elderly, and providing more oral health care for seniors.
The proposed registry would provide employers of direct-care workers a better screening method for new hires that may deter abusers, according to advocates.
Expanding oral health care for seniors would include having a dental hygienist work in more “safety-net” settings in concert with practicing dentists.
Proponents say this would reduce barriers to oral care for seniors.
The coalition also identified the need for up to $3 million in funding to support the transition of about 500 people from costly nursing homes to less restrictive settings though the formation of a Georgia-specific transition services program.
The Georgia Council on Aging, created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977 to advise the governor, assembly and state agencies on programs for Georgia’s seniors, is a leading voice in the coalition.
“The Georgia Council on Aging looks forward to working with other aging advocates to move these issues forward successfully during the 2016 legislative session,” Joanne Mathis, Georgia Council on Aging’s legislative chair, said in a statement.