Georgia’s Aging Services leader to help provide “road map” to reopening nation’s aging and disability agencies
ATLANTA – ADvancing States tapped Georgia Division of Aging Services Director Abby Cox this week to join a workgroup charged with designing a “road map” to reopen Older Americans Act programming across the nation following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cox joins leaders from Kentucky, Minnesota, Utah and Washington who will work together to develop phased guidance to aging services providers so that Older Americans Act programs in the U.S. can safely resume in the ways in which they were previously administered, while also considering new approaches to ensure the safety and well-being of older adults in the United States.
Older Americans Act programming includes home-delivered meals, homemaker services, health and wellness programs, caregiver services, senior employment and more.
ADvancing States represents the nation’s 56 state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities and long-term services and supports directors.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providers limited in-person contact to prevent transmission of the disease. This effort, while a necessary move to lower the risk of transmission, leaves a vulnerable population at risk of social isolation.
“The important thing we need to focus on in this endeavor is finding the right balance for the individuals we serve,” Cox said. “Older Americans Act programming is what keeps people in their homes and communities, and while we’ve taken measures to ensure health and safety, we also have a duty to uphold elder rights and restore options for people to live independently and safely in the setting of their choosing.”
The workgroup’s plan will lay out the steps states can consider as they reopen services and programs to serve vulnerable adults in their regions when they determine it is safe to do so.
About the Georgia Division of Aging Services
The Division of Aging Services is the division within the Department of Human Services charged with assisting and protecting Georgia’s older individuals, at-risk adults, persons with disabilities, their families and caregivers to achieve safe, healthy, independent and self-reliant lives.
DHS works in partnership with local Area Agencies on Aging to deliver services. They are part of a nationwide network of state and local programs designed to help older people plan and care for their lifelong needs.
To learn more information about services available to assist vulnerable Georgians visit aging.ga.gov.
About ADvancing States
ADvancing States was founded in 1964 under the name National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA). In 2019, the association changed its name to ADvancing States. Today, ADvancing States represents the nation’s 56 state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities and long-term services and supports directors.
ADvancing States supports visionary leadership, the advancement of systems innovation and the articulation of national policies that support long-term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities.