Hertford County Office of Aging celebrates NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature Day

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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AHOSKIE – To honor 30 years of advocacy for older adults, Hertford County Commissioners proclaimed Thursday, Feb. 23 as NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature Day.

Hertford County Office of Aging hosted a celebration and forum at Roanoke Chowan Community College not only to recognize the accomplishments of the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature (NCSTHL), but to highlight the 2023-2024 NCSTHL priorities for recommendation to the NC General Assembly.

Local senior citizens visit one of the information tables set up on Feb. 23 at Roanoke-Chowan Community College. Contributed Photo

The event showcased a PowerPoint presentation by Alice Keene, Pitt County Tar Heel Legislature Delegate, addressing why the priorities are so vital to the aging population in North Carolina.

In 2020, 85 counties in the state had more people 60 years of age and older than age 0- 17. This number is only projected to increase as citizens age. Keene’s presentation showed the need for more long-term care beds, higher facility staff to resident ratios as well as increased ombudsman staffing for oversight of these facilities. It also focused on the need for increased appropriations for Senior Centers through Senior Center General Purpose Funding to provide our aging population with a welcoming place to socialize and participate in activities as well as additional recurring Home and Community Care Block Grant funding to support vital programming such as in-home aid, respite, transportation and nutrition services.

Following the presentation, a panel discussion was led by aging specialist Laura Jett, Ombudsman, Mid-East Commission Area Agency on Aging.

Brenda Brown, Director, Hertford County Department of Social Services, and Lisa Barker, NC Regional Manager, Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, addressed issues impacting older adults at a local level such as Medicare, elder abuse and fraud.

Betina Odom chats with Fifth District NC House Representative Bill Ward at the NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature Day event. Contributed Photo

The program was attended by approximately 100 local seniors, community stakeholders, and elected officials, including NC District 5 Representative Bill Ward and Trey Lewis, Field Representative for U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, making this senior advocacy event a resounding success and making Hertford County a model for others across the state.

If you would like more information on NCSTHL priorities, visit www.ncseniorlegislature.org or contact local delegate Claude Odom at 252-356-2677.

To learn more about your local Senior Center and its programs, call Hertford County Office of Aging at 252-358-7856 to speak to a senior service professional. You can also follow HCOA on their Facebook page: Hertford County Aging/Senior Center.

“It is our belief that older adults deserve to age with dignity and stay in their homes for as long as possible. In order to safely accomplish this, our aging neighbors need healthcare, support services, nutrition and socialization.

Speak up Hertford County. Active senior services and programming are vital to every community,” said Jo Anne Powell, Program Manager for the Hertford County Office of Aging.