Friday, February 13, 2009

Feb. 13-17: National Silver Haired Congress

My parents with their Congressman Eric Cantor at the
2007 Republican Round-Up.

Today is the opening of the 2009 National Silver Haired Congress as delegates from across the Nation gather in Alexandria, Virginia ... including my parents. My mom was honored to be appointed by her Congressman, Eric Cantor (R), to represent the 7th Congressional District.

Both my folks are excited about this opportunity to represent the "silver-haired generation" as Mom attends seminars and votes on issues of interest to the aging population of the U.S.

Representatives are asked to sign up for their top three choices of committees representing issues they are interested in pursuing, and Mom chose Civil/Criminal Justice, Health, and General.

In the past representatives have brought close to 100 issues to the Silver Haired Congress, narrowed them down to five of the most important issues, and passed them on to their U.S. representatives to pusue in the U.S. Congress.

What exactly is the Silver Haired Congress?
The National Silver Haired Congress is a nonpartisan body for older citizens similar in organization and employing procedures similar to those used by the United States Congress. It is made up of a maximum of 100 U.S. Silver Senators and 435 Silver Representatives from all fifty states plus voting Delegates from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The purpose of the NSHC is to serve as a non-partisan advocate for Federal-level issues and concerns of importance to older citizens through education and awareness development.

The National Silver Haired Congress (NSHC) consists of a Silver Senate and a Silver House of Representatives. These two bodies are empowered with all legislative powers, duties and responsibilities.
Last year's Congress turned out these five top issues:
1) Create a National Criminal Background Check and Registry of all direct access employees of health care facilities, including home health agencies and residential care facilities.

2) Mandate Geriatric Education for all Students preparing for health careers in Tax Supported Medical Schools

3) Increase Home and Community-Based Services by developing a FY 2009 budget that will fully fund the Older Americans Act, Title II.

4) Pass Elder Justice Legislation that will prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute offenders involved in elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

5) Establish a "Silver Alert" Notification Network for Missing Elderly Citizens, similar to the Amber Alert for Children so that law enforcement, news media, and the general public may be promptly notified and a timely search and rescue may be undertaken when a vulnerable, disoriented elderly person is discovered missing.
It will be interesting to see what issues this year's Silver Haired Congress decides are the most important for America's aging population.

Congratulations, Mom, on the appointment ... you kids have fun!

Photo by SWAC Girl

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I met several members of the Silver-Haired congress while staying at the Hilton this past weekend. I don't think I met your mom but I'm honored to say I met an exciting group of women who are truly on the move and making a difference!