A Message from your GGS President, Pat Baker

For over 65 years, the Georgia Gerontology Society (GGS) has reached across the state to connect, support, and educate those working with older adults and their families.  GGS is committed to advocating for equitable and just treatment for all older adults and their families, but especially those who are marginalized and discriminated against. Institutional and interpersonal racism, inequities in healthcare, and a systematically perpetuated racial wealth gap, all contribute to older adults of color being
at unnecessarily heightened risk for health challenges.

The recent surge in harassment and acts of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is another stark reminder of how much work we need to do in this area and how urgently the work is needed. GGS continues to support decisive actions that address longstanding inequities, push back against prejudice, and eliminate social injustice when and wherever it is encountered.  To do this effectively, we need your help and your input. You can find out more about what GGS is doing by visiting the Diversity- Equity- Inclusion section on our website or help with GGS’ advocacy efforts.

I would like to draw attention to a phenomenal resource for the Pan Asian community that we have here in Georgia. The Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) was established in 1980 as the first and largest health and human services agency for AAPI families in the southeast region and is dedicated to helping immigrants fully integrate into society through advocating, educating, and upholding the civil and human rights of the immigrant and refugee communities. CPACS works by strengthening community leaders, collaborating with partners, building alliances, and fostering civic engagement. Visit http://www.cpacs.org to learn more about this valuable resource and how you can be involved.

– Pat Baker, GGS President

CaraVita on the offensive in Fight against COVID-19 – Vaccinating over 125 and growing!

Disclaimer: Vaccine distribution has been challenging for many and a success for some. We encourage members to share their stores about vaccine rollout to administrator@georgiagerontologysociety.org for consideration in our blog.

On January 2, 2021 91 residents of Woodland Ridge along with our care partners and health care staff at CaraVita Home Care were vaccinated by Physicians Pharmacy.  Beth Cayce stated it is the first time we have been on the offensive in this fight against COVID-19 -19. Staff and residents received the vaccine to allow them to begin a process of reuniting with families and friends.  Anna Williams, a 16-year veteran CMA, C.N.A who was a little apprehensive at first, said she got it because she knew it would help. Joan Chege C.N.A stated that it will help keep her family, clients and her safe and she wants to be there for them.

While we know this will take some time, we are encouraging as many who are able to take the vaccine to receive it, so we can stop the spread of the Pandemic. Since the clinic on Saturday, we have had more requests as staff have seen that their colleagues, and the residents have had very little side effects. It is important to share information on this vaccine to increase acceptance. # Vaccination Saves Lives.

648 Mimosa Boulevard Roswell, Ga 30075 770-643- 1712

Thank You from Amanda James

I received my first job in the aging network based on connections I made at a GGS Annual Conference while a student at UGA. To be a part of the GGS Leadership many years later as a GGS Board Member and then the GGS Executive Director has truly been an honor and a privilege. I have enjoyed working with you over the past 4.5 years. I will be assisting GGS with their transition to a new director. Please continue to reach out to me at administrator@georgiagerontologysociety.org with your GGS questions and concerns. Thank you for making my job so enjoyable. GGS is an exceptional organization and I hope to see you all at a future conference!

Thank you,

Amanda James

A Message from your GGS President

November 14th marked the beginning of the season of light with Diwali. The Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and other celebrations will follow and an anticipation of a new year in which we all hope for change and new beginnings. In what has felt like dark times for many of us and for many of the older adults we serve, we could all use more light in this world. We continue to hear stories of how our members and the larger aging network have been this light for the people we serve and for each other. Though the work is not done, we hope this holiday season will allow you to reflect on the grace and goodness you have provided in this world and encourage you to continue to be a source of light for those around you. As president of GGS, I am humbled by your work and sacrifice and I am proud to lead an organization with such amazing members. On behalf of the Board, thank you for allowing us to serve you as you serve others.

Your GGS President,

Pat Baker

October is Residents’ Rights Month (LTCO Spotlight)

For most of us, we have no problem letting someone know when our rights are being violated. But, have you thought about the rights of residents who happen to live in a long-term care facility? Do a person’s rights change when they are no longer completely independent?

October is “Residents’ Rights Month.” It is an annual event to honor those living in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living communities. It is an opportunity to focus on and celebrate awareness of dignity, respect, and the rights of each resident. The federal Nursing Home Reform Law guarantees residents’ rights and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity, choice, and self-determination. The law also requires nursing homes to “promote and protect the rights of each resident.” State law also protects the rights of all long-term care residents. Residents’ Rights Month is a time to raise awareness of these rights and celebrate residents.

This year’s theme, “Connection Matters”, emphasizes connections – to family, to friends, and to the community – as an essential component of good health and quality of life for residents. During this time of pandemic, in-person visits are extremely restricted. It is more important than ever to help residents stay connected with family and friends using technology, window visits and other options. Residents’ Rights Month is an opportunity for residents, staff, families, ombudsman representatives, and other advocates to work together and promote quality long- term care.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program gives a voice to resident concerns, advocates for system and legislative changes, addresses complaints, and provides information and assistance to long-term care residents. We strongly encourage the community to participate in Residents’ Rights Month activities because our residents continue to be important members of our
communities. To learn more about Residents’ Rights Month overall, please visit https://www.georgiaombudsman.org/ or call 1-866-552-4464, option 5 to connect with our ombudsman representatives.

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight – Ser Familia

Ser Familia’s mission is to equip Latinos of all ages with the tools, resources and skills they need to go from crisis to thriving.   Our vision is to have all families flourish and contribute to the well-being of their communities.  Our 65 and over Latino population has been especially hit with the pandemic situation caused by COVID-19 and we are more committed than ever to provide mental health services that are linguistically and culturally appropriate to this population.

According to the US Census Bureau, The Latino population in Georgia, age 65 and over, grew over 200% in one decade (*2010 Census vs 2019 Census). In 2010, Latinos over 65 made up 4.7% of the population. By 2019, the percentage was 14.3%.

With the population growth and the outbreak of COVID-19, the need for Mental Health Services, as well as Emergency Assistance has only increased exponentially.  Ser Familia has filled that void by quickly launching and continuing support programs assisting the golden population and their families in their language”

Learn more at https://serfamilia.org/

Belisa M. Urbina
Executive Director
Ser Familia, Inc.