May is Older Americans Month, which was first established in 1963, as Senior Citizens Month, when President John F. Kennedy issued a formal proclamation asking that the nation pay tribute to older Americans in their communities. Today, in a special edition of Closer Look, we focus on resources to help with quality of life for Georgia’s aging community.
0:00: First, Rose gives a news brief on the first fatality in Atlanta involving an electric scooter. According to the Atlanta Police Department, a man was riding out of the West Lake MARTA station when he was hit, a little after midnight, by a women driving a SUV. The names of the victim and the driver have not been released. The rider was operating a Lime scooter and in a statement to Closer Look, an official with Lime wrote the following:
“We’re devastated to learn of this tragic incident in Atlanta and our thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. We have been in touch with local authorities to offer support and stand ready to assist however we can.”
There are currently five companies operating dockless, electric scooters in Atlanta.
4:00: By 2030, the number of people over the age of 65 years old are projected to outnumber the number of children for the first time in United States history, according to Census data. As this demographic grows, how can communities ensure that their aging population have access to the resources and care they may need? That’s an issue Ladisa Onyiliogwu, director of Fulton county’s Department of Senior Services focuses on in her work. She, along with Megan Vaughn who also works with the county’s senior community, share some of the services their department provides. For more information about services available to seniors and their families, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Fulton County STARLine at 404-613-6000.
22:20: Assisted living facilities are becoming increasingly hard for low to middle-income families in the United States to afford. The average monthly cost for assisted living or retirement communities in Georgia in 2015 was around $2,880 per month. This is something Wesley Woods senior living community tries to address. Since 1953, the organization has provided affordable housing and care for members of the aging community, with help from the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist church. The organization reports that 1,500 seniors make themselves at home In the Wesley Woods Senior Living retirement community annually, and of those residents, over 70-percent receive financial assistance. Terry Barcroft, CEO of Wesley Woods senior living community talks about the state of affordable housing options for those in the aging community.
40:16: The Georgia Classic Club (GCC) is a self-described “sisterhood” of former pageant contestants, which began back in 1989. Open to women over the age of 60 years old, members of the GCC aim to “to promote a positive image of seniorhood, dignity, inner beauty, positive maturity, and classic elegance,” according to GCC. Today, groups within the organization host events, such as the Miss Senior Georgia Pageant, and perform talent shows. In metro Atlanta, “Dazzlin’ Dames,” is the local performing troupe, which has toured in churches, civic groups and the Elberton Theatre, among other venues. A few members of the GCC join us in-studio. A conversation with Cindy Wood, President, Georgia Classic Club, Martha Dudley, Executive Director of the Ms. Senior Georgia Pageant and Sandy Rubinstein, Treasurer and Dazzlin’ Dames Coordinator about the mission of the GCC and what this sisterhood means to them. You can learn more about GCC here.
Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.