NC Senior Tar Heel Legislature supports ageism awareness

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2023

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Ageism Awareness Day is Saturday, Oct. 7.

Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) toward others or oneself based upon age. Ageism harms everyone. AARP estimated $850 billion in lost gains to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of involuntary retirement, underemployment and unemployment among older workers.

Adults aged 60+ comprise 23 percent of NC’s population, yet our state’s appropriations for funding for services that enable us to age with dignity, at home, are less than 1 percent of the state budget each year. None of us want to think we could be guilty of ageism. This year, the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature recommended to the N.C. General Assembly the appropriation of $18.75 million in additional recurring funds to address critical issues facing older adults. We aim to ensure that “seasoned citizens” have access to resources that enhance their lives and health outcomes across programs such as Adult Protective Services, senior centers, the Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG), supporting services such as home-delivered meals, and long-term care.

About the NCSTHL: The North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature was created as a nonpartisan, unicameral body by the North Carolina General Assembly with the passage of Senate Bill 479 in July of 1993. Its purpose is to identify the most pressing issues facing older North Carolinians and propose legislation to enhance their quality of life.

— Dr. Althea Taylor Jones
Jones is the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature delegate for Forsyth County.