DHS awards grants to help older adults live more independently

July 8, 2016

ATLANTA – Residents in four areas of Georgia will have greater access to cost-effective technologies that allow older residents to lead safer, more independent lives. 

This week, the Georgia Department of Human Services announced grant awards to four Area Agencies on Aging in metro Atlanta, Northwest Georgia, South Georgia and West Central Georgia to create assistive technology labs in each region that will help older adults lead more independent lives through the use of technology.

The Atlanta Regional Commission, the Northwest Georgia Area Agency on Aging, the Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging and the Southern Georgia Area Agency on Aging have each been awarded a $10,000 grant to create assistive technology labs to serve their region.

Assistive technology describes equipment meant to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of an individual in a way that allows the individual to continue performing daily tasks independently. 

Assistive technology includes weighted utensils that allow those with hand tremors to feed themselves, voice generators to improve an individual’s speaking capacity and rotating car seats that improve mobility for individuals with impairments.

“Assistive technology makes it easier for Georgians to fully participate in family, community and work life,” said DHS Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden. “These four assistive technology labs will give people an opportunity to try out ingenious and lower-cost solutions to their individual needs and maintain their independence.”

Each lab will house equipment to assist older adults and people with disabilities with activities such as eating, bathing, grooming, taking care of health needs, preparing meals, managing money, and more. Many labs will offer a lending program for individuals to try equipment before purchasing, and some Area Agencies on Aging may help purchase equipment for individuals in need.

Each lab will be free and will be open to the public.

The four grantees will work in partnership with the Department, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, local collaborators and Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program designee Tools for Life. 

To learn more about aging and disability services that may be available in your community or to locate your local Area Agency on Aging, please contact DHS Division of Aging Services at 866-552-4464 or visit http://www.aging.ga.gov.  

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