The Sixth Decade
2005 - 2015
Florida Council on Aging served as the grantee for the National Council on Aging Access to Benefits Coalition. FCOA contracted with 4 Area Agencies on Aging’s around the state to help get the word out about Medicare Part D. FCOA also had the privilege of being the grantee of the My Medicare Matters project – 5 mobile units that went into targeted communities to help seniors enroll in Medicare Part D.
In 2006 FCOA began planning a social marketing campaign – Florida Seniors. Our Greatest Living Resource. The theme of Florida Seniors as our greatest living resource was highlighted in the AgeWise newsletter and served as the theme for the 2006 Florida Conference on Aging held in Tampa. The Opening Session speakers were Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman – the God Squad. Their message of volunteerism and the ethics of serving others, in addition to a healthy dose of humor, was well received by the audience. On Tuesday, Nancy Whitelaw of National Council on Aging presented on evidence-based practices and Tim Dutton of SCOPE presented on community engagement. The Membership Luncheon Speaker was Linda Gray of Dallas fame.
The Florida Conference on Aging was held in Miami in 2007. Governor Charlie Crist welcomed attendees during the Opening Session. Marc Freedman of Civic Ventures spoke about Encore Careers during the second half of life during the Tuesday Plenary Session of the 2007 Florida Conference on Aging. FCOA worked with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to host an American Assembly event at the Conference. The three topics of discussion, as selected by the FCOA membership, were: Aging in Place and Caregiver Issues; Transportation, Mobility and Older Drivers; and Civic Engagement. FCOA gathered extensive information about the key issues surrounding the above topics from attendees.
In 2008, FCOA sought out the services of a lobbyist, Robert Beck with National Strategies Inc., to represent the interests of the FCOA membership during the 2009 Legislative Session. FCOA raised over $100,000 to cover all of the costs associated with advocacy and lobbying on behalf of the home and community based care programs funded by General Revenue dollars. Webinars were hosted by FCOA and partner FASP to help inform the memberships and all interested parties about what was happening during the Legislative Session that may affect the Aging Network.
The 2008 Florida Conference on Aging welcomed a new partner, The Florida Coalition for Optimal Mental Health and Aging. The partnership provides an opportunity for the Coalition to develop a workshop track related to mental health and aging for the annual Conference. The Conference offered, for the first time, a Nutrition workshop track to address the needs of nutrition providers working with the aging population and programs in Florida.
The Florida Council on Aging partnered with Lively Technical Center in 2008 to redesign the FCOA website.
In 2009 the Florida Conference on Aging was held in St. Petersburg. Dr. Bertice Berry was the keynote speaker, to rave reviews. FCOA invited her back again for the 2011 Conference!
The Advocacy Initiative continued in 2010. FCOA elected to continue to advocate on behalf of increasing the funding to General Revenue-funded home and community-based services. In 2010, FCOA held four regional summit meetings to educate the membership, caregivers and the community at-large about Legislative topics affecting the Aging Network. Due to the success of these meetings, FCOA held 6 Advocacy Summits in 2011 and 4 Advocacy Summits in 2012.
FCOA joins the social networking trend and develops Facebook and Twitter accounts in 2010.
The Florida Adult Day Services Association (FADSA) developed a partnership with FCOA beginning with the 2010 Conference. This partnership provides FADSA the opportunity to develop a workshop track at the annual Conference. The 2010 Conference plenary speaker was Simon T. Bailey – Release Your Brilliance! FCOA had the pleasure of welcoming Governor Crist back to the Conference during the Quality Senior Living Awards Luncheon where he, and others, celebrated the 75th anniversary of Social Security. Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee and Florida Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Chuck Corley closed out the 2010 Conference with a discussion about the future of aging.
FCOA was approached by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2010 to develop a health & wellness education campaign about atrial fibrillation (AF). Posters about AF were designed in English and Spanish with tear-off informational cards for consumers to take home. Posters were distributed to all senior centers and meal sites in Florida.
Florida Conference on Aging 2011 was in St. Petersburg and the Tuesday morning plenary discussion about Florida as the Nation’s New Incubator for Delivering 21st Century Aging Services was lead by John Migliaccio of MetLife Mature Market Institute and Michael Marcus of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The attendees were entertained with the comic stylings of Mary Maxwell, guest speaker at the FPL Quality Senior Living Awards. Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll sent a video to be played at the Closing Session congratulating DOEA on their 20th Anniversary and DOEA Secretary Chuck Corley closed the conference with reflections of the past and where DOEA is headed in 2012.
The Florida Council on Aging, in 2011, engaged Robert Beck as an Advocacy Consultant for the purpose of keeping the membership informed about Legislative issues, to support a ‘fix’ to Background Screening Legislation that imposed an unfair burden to community-based organizations, and to advocate for increased funding to General Revenue-funded home and community based services.
The quest to fix the Background Screening Legislation was successful with Legislature Passage in 2011. However, it was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott. FCOA hired Robert Beck again in 2012 and in the contract FCOA requested lobbying services. The Background Screening Legislation was successfully passed by both Houses and Governor Scott signed the Bill into law.
Florida Conference on Aging 2012 is shaping up to be a stellar event. Opening keynote Chuck Underwood will discuss the Generational Imperative: Understanding Generational Differences in the Workplace, Marketplace, and Living Room. Tim Madigan, author of I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers, will be the speaker at the Quality Senior Living Awards Luncheon sponsored by Florida Power & Light. For the second year, FCOA will be offering a Policy workshop track at the Conference.
2015 - The 60th year for Florida Council on Aging was one of great celebration.
In January we kicked off our 7th year with a formal Advocacy Initiative. During this time we have consistently requested increases to the home and community service programs funded by General Revenue dollars. These programs are:
¨ Community Care for the Elderly (CCE) (click to view program information)
¨ Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) (click to view program information)
¨ Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) (click to view program information)
¨ Local Service Programs (LSP) (click to view program information - page 25)
In 2015 we requested an $11.2 million increase to serve the most frail older adults on the waiting list. Hundreds of FCOA members and advocates visited Legislative Offices, attended advocacy summits, distributed FCOA advocacy literature, shared FCOA advocacy emails, wrote their Legislators and shared their personal stories. All of this netted the aging network an increase of $3.7 million (ADI received $1.7 million and CCE received $2 million). FCOA thanks YOU for your hard work and dedication to supporting these home services for Florida’s frail elderly.
The annual FCOA Conference in August was held at the Caribe Royale hotel in Orlando. We had 29 sponsors, 61 exhibitors, 104 presenters and over 500 attendees. FCOA is thankful for our partners, Florida Department of Elder Affairs and Florida Association of Aging Services Providers who helped make the 2015 Conference spectacular through their contributions.
The Conference opening session speaker was John Feather, PhD, from Grantmakers in Aging. Dr. Feather spoke about reframing aging and why policymakers and public is not responsive to the exponential growth of older adults. On day two of the Conference FCOA welcomed Bob Blancato from the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs to talk about federal legislation and Enid Borden, CEO of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. Ms. Borden had the audience riveted as she talked about ways to end senior hunger and reduce food waste. The closing speaker for the Conference was Secretary Sam Verghese of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Secretary Verghese gave a State of the State address, announced a new program called the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative and unveiled a new Elder Affairs logo.
As 2015 comes to a close we are ramping up for the early start of the 2016 Legislative Session. FCOA is requesting $35.9 million to serve clients waiting for home care services (see page 4). Governor Scott’s budget proposal that came out in November includes $2 million for CCE and $1.7 million for ADI. We hope you will contact your Legislators to let them know that these programs help older adults and it saves Florida millions of dollars annually.