Since our founding by Frank Manning in 1969 as the first statewide education and advocacy group for senior citizens in Massachusetts, MAOA has worked to keep elders in the mainstream of life. We have worked to establish policies that preserve justice, dignity, and economic security for seniors and their families.
Mental Health Programs
MAOA’s commitment to educating practitioners, policy makers, consumers and the general public about the importance of mental health treatment to the overall health and well being of elders has been a part of our active agenda for over 20 years. With support from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and other grantors and collaborators, MAOA offers four educational conferences across the state each year. MAOA convenes experts in the aging and mental health fields to provide information about the unique needs of older adults, and effective prevention and treatment strategies.
These conferences and other funded projects provide a vehicle for the issues and concerns of elders to be addressed on this often ignored subject. We continue this work to ensure that the foundation for more effective mental health referral and follow up for elders throughout the Commonwealth remains on the agenda of legislators, state agencies, service providers and community elders.
MAOA has also identified a growing need among seniors who provide primary support and care for their sons, daughters and siblings with chronic mental illness. We are working with the Department of Mental Health to address this growing need.
Elder Advocacy: The Elder Economic Security Standard
MAOA provides advocacy training for interested groups throughout the state. The Elder Economic Security Standard, a measure that benchmarks the basic cost of elder households living in Massachusetts, is the basis for our current policy advocacy work. Working with a statewide multidisciplinary Advisory Council, the University of MA Gerontology Institute and the Washington D.C based Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), MAOA is working to promote the use of the Elder Economic Security Standard in decision-making at all levels of policy and program development. MAOA is implementing a policy agenda for improving the economic security of elders now living in Massachusetts and those of future generations. A full copy of the Elder Economic Security Standard is available here.
MAOA works in a number of coalitions to address many important issues of concern to older people. These collaborations include promoting prescription drug access through programs such as Prescription Advantage; working for Universal Health Care; creating an understanding of intimate partner abuse among older women; promoting training, employment and volunteer opportunities for seniors; offering resources for caregivers; promoting information sharing and improvement of programs that serve underserved and low income elders such as Mass Health, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Fuel Assistance; addressing the quality of care in nursing homes and in the community; and promoting the use of technology among seniors.
For more information, contact:
Chet Jakubiak, Executive Director