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Empowering NH Seniors to Speak for Themselves

December 17, 2007

Bedford, NH - New Hampshire is one of the fastest-aging states, and older adults in the state want to have a bigger say in the policies that affect them. So social workers and senior advocates have formed a new group, called EngAGING New Hampshire, to help.

"EngAGING" organizer Barbara Salvatore of the National Association of Social Workers' New Hampshire chapter is working to bring more senior voices to the policymaking process.

"When it comes to programs, services, and societal policy, you can't make services person-centered unless you have an active consumer voice."

Engaging seniors also encourages them to stay active and productive during their retirement years, which is something Salvatore believes the Granite State needs.

"We can no longer afford to stick people on the shelf; we have too many who really want to continue to participate and make a difference."

For social worker Stephen Gorin, the movement brings promise for residents young and old alike.

"The goal of EngAGING New Hampshire is to build a society where everyone is able to age well."

Salvatore agrees getting the growing senior population involved will help residents of all ages, because it keeps a whole generation's lessons and connections available to the community.

John Robinson/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NH