EngAGING NH Gives Seniors a Voice

June 29th, 2006 by Adam

In its commitment to community outreach and service, Plymouth State University’s Department of Social Work has received a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to host EngAGING NH, a fall summit that will focus on the needs of the state’s growing older population.

“New Hampshire faces severe challenges in meeting the needs of its older adults,” said Department Chair Cynthia Moniz. “The state needs a comprehensive public policy and an infrastructure to meet the growing needs of all aging and older adults, including those with disabilities. There are a number of groups representing the interests of business, health care and long-term care service providers that seek to influence program and policy decisions in the state. However, there is no statewide public advocacy group to coalesce and ensure that policy and planning efforts for older adults are driven from a consumer perspective.”

With the help of the EngAGING NH summit, Moniz and others hope to change that. The purpose of the meeting is to encourage older adults to voice their concerns in order to help improve the quality of life for all New Hampshire residents. An Aging Action Network will help connect resources and advocates across the state in an effort to provide needed services.

The daylong summit will create a process for public participation and advocacy and establish the groundwork for future N.H. summits and an aging advocacy network. Five planning areas will be addressed: long-term and community care, social supports, safety and protection, economic security and health care.

Moniz believes the summit will promote both community-based and statewide action.

“New Hampshire has a strong history of volunteerism, and communities where neighbors help neighbors,” said Moniz. “EngAGING NH builds upon these strengths and provides a vehicle for advocacy, to better ensure that our state’s policies reflect consumer opinion and community choices.”

Plymouth State University is joined on this project by Franklin Pierce Law Center’s Institute for Health, Law and Ethics, as well as many of the state’s elder advocates. The summit will be held in October on the PSU campus. The University will release more details as soon as they become available. For more information or to request an application for participation, contact EngAGING NH at (603) 472-2806 or engagingnh@yahoo.com.

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.