Advocacy Awards and Events News

Older Adult Lobby Day 2024

February 27

More than 500 older adults and advocates participated in the Older Adult Lobby Day in the Great Hall at the State House on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Betsey Crimmins (Mass Home Care) and Ellen Taintor (Mystic Valley Elder Services) organized the event.

Betsey Crimmins, Executive Director of Mass Home Care, described the event “as an opportunity to let our state legislators know how important the network of home and community-based services is to our rapidly expanding older adult population. People want to age at home in their community of choice. Our network helps to make that happen which produces better health outcomes and higher quality of life while also saving the state money.”

Rosa Bentley, President, Massachusetts Senior Action Council, age 78 from Lynn, expressed her motivation to participate, “Everyone wants to age with dignity and respect but far too often seniors are denied this opportunity by inequitable policies and systems. As seniors, legislators need to hear our voices, learn from our experiences, and work with us to make Massachusetts a great place to age for everyone, particularly those who, despite a lifetime of work, lack the resources to afford even basic needs.”

Cassie Cramer with the Older Adult Behavioral Health Network said that she was advocating for “improved access to behavioral health and recovery supports which helps those at risk of eviction, costly nursing home admissions, and hospitalizations to live healthy lives in the community.”

Featured speakers were Senator Patricia Jehlen and Representative Thomas Stanley, Chairs of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Representatives from each sponsoring organization also made brief comments. Michael Festa, State Director of AARP -Massachusetts, served as the emcee.

One of five Massachusetts residents are older adults. Seventy percent of them regularly vote – the highest percentage of any age cohort. Participants at the Older Adult Lobby Day advocated on an array of issues including affordable, accessible housing; age-friendly transit services; expansion of home and community-based services; transformation of nursing homes; and more.

Older Adult Lobby Day sponsors:
The Older Adult Behavioral Health Network
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH)
AARP Massachusetts
Mass Home Care
Dignity Alliance MA
MA Senior Action
Massachusetts Councils on Aging
Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute
Alzheimer’s Association
Action for Boston Community Development