Golden K Kiwanis Honor Veterans


Registration Deadline is April 27 - register here on EVENTS tab


Gary Barg article, Today's Caregiver Magazine


House Bill 46 moves the Division of Aging Services to the Department of Community Health


Thanks to the Albany Woman's Club and Mark's Greenhouses Nursery, the Kay H. Hind sign now includes a beautiful flower bed.





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Date Posted: April 23, 2015
Golden K Kiwanis Honor Veterans

ALBANY — Albany residents now have another reminder of the sacrifices veterans have made for the country thanks to new memorial placed at the SOWEGA Council on Aging’s Kay Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center Wednesday.

Organized by the Albany Golden K Kiwanis Club, the new memorial, which consists of a freshly planted red maple tree and a granite marker, was planned to honor the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces.

“Every year the club does an April One Day activity,” said Golden K President Bill Graff. “This year I was president and I decided on April One Day we were going to do something and this sort of dawned on me to do something in remembrance of the people who served.”

The Kay Hinds Senior Center was the ideal place for the monument due to the fact that Golden K’s membership is made up of senior citizens, many of whom are supporters of the center as well as being members of the armed forces, like Graff, who is retired from the Air Force.

“Being a retired military person, this makes me proud,” said Graff. “It will be here forever.”

Graff said he is also proud of two area companies that lent a hand in making the memorial a reality, Matthews Funeral Home, which donated the granite marker, and Mark’s Greenhouse which donated the tree.

Coy Crowley, landscape manager with Mark’s Greenhouse, who was on hand for the dedication of the memorial, said when members of Golden K inquired about the cost of purchasing the tree, company officials decided it would be best to show their support and donate the tree.

“We just wanted to be a part of the community and give back,” said Crowley. “It’s a good cause for the citizens of Albany.”

Crowley added that the tree, which is a native variety in south Georgia, will have a long life span and will eventually grow to an average height of 60 feet. He also said that even though the tree is beautiful when it blooms in the spring, it will also be striking in the fall, when it’s leaves change to golden, orange, red and brown.

The natural beauty of the tree is also one of the reasons the SOWEGA Council on Aging is pleased to about having the memorial on the grounds of the senior center.

“We’re honored they contacted us to have a memorial on our site,” said SOWEGA Council on Aging ADRC Program Manager Babs Hall. “We requested a red maple because it will be a beautiful tree and we’ll be able to look out and see it all the time. In fact, it will be here long after we’re gone. It will serve as a wonderful reminder of those who have served.”

SOWEGA Council on Aging Assistant Director Debbie Blanton concurred with Hall’s assessment, saying that she’s proud of what the memorial means to the community and what it will mean in the future.

“It is a symbol of the service of the men and women that have served and are serving our country,” said Blanton. “It reminds us again that freedom is not free and that the sacrifices these men and women have made and are making is what makes this country great. We hope that the future generations will sit here as we put benches under this tree, that they’ll have a place to sit in the shade and look at this and reflect back on just what the military has meant to this country.”

The SOWEGA Council on Aging is a nonprofit organization working to serve the physical, mental and spiritual needs of older people in a 14 county area around southwest Georgia, through a wide range of services. For more information on the organization visit


Date Posted: April 16, 2015
Registration Deadline is April 27 - register online on EVENT tab


Date Posted: April 16, 2015
Gary Barg article, Today's Caregiver Magazine
Georgia on My Mind
- Gary Barg, Today's Caregiver Magazine

Earlier this month, I was in Albany, Georgia, for our first annual Albany Fearless Caregiver Conference co-hosted with the good folks at the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center and SOWEGA.  It was a remarkable event for me in so many ways.  It was my first time back in Albany since my college days (somewhere way-way back in the last century) when I was at FSU in northern Florida. 

I would on occasion want to take my car out for about 90 minutes out just to get out on the road and inevitably, the destination was always Albany, Georgia. (Or as an old-timer told me way back when, “Call it Albinny or leave”). My friends there now kind of chuckle and point at me derisively when I do that, so I don’t say that anymore. Much has changed there, but the friendliness and nice town feel remains the same to this date.

One of the great changes that have happened in Albany is the construction of the brand new Kay H. Hind Senior Life Enrichment Center where we were lucky enough to hold the event with Kay H. Hind herself in attendance.  When I started running around the country talking about Today’s Caregiver magazine twenty years ago and trying as much as possible to be of service to family caregivers, one of the first people who took me under their wing was Kay H. Hind. I will never forget her kindness.

By the way, our keynote speaker was none other than Leisa Easom, PhD, RN, Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and Pope Eminent Scholar. What a day!

There were so many lessons that I learned from these two icons, but also from the family caregivers in attendance. The first I want to talk about is an extension of something I always say to caregivers. And it has to do with the doctor’s office visit.

We all have memories of waiting in the exam room with our loved one counting up the important questions we need to ask the physician, only to find those questions and the will to ask them evaporate into thin air as the doctor walks through the door.  But there are things we can do to get those questions answered.

To recap some of the tips I have learned from family caregivers about partnering with your loved ones doctors:

  • Try limiting the questions to one or two that can’t be answered elsewhere.
  • As the doctor walks in, mention you might need a few minutes to ask the questions. 
  • Bring a small digital tape recorder or use an audio recorder on your smart phone, so you don’t drive away wondering what it was that he or she just said. 

A caregiver in Albany raised her hand and, in fact, added a very important tip to the list when she said that she always has good luck by sending, in writing, her concerns and questions to the physician’s office in advance of the appointment date. 

Hmm, successfully partnering with her loved one's family physician staff to get her questions answered. There’s a whole lot of Fearless Caregiving going on in South Georgia! 

Now you know why I always have Georgia on My Mind.

Gary Barg


Date Posted: March 31, 2015
House Bill 46 moves the Division of Aging Services to the Department of Community Health

Georgia Legislature Overwhelmingly Supports Move of Aging Services

Advocates Fight for More Nimble Services for Older Georgians


Atlanta, GA – March 25, 2015 –House Bill 86, sponsored by Representative Tommy Benton (District 31-R, Jefferson), Transfers the Division of Aging Services (DAS) to the Georgia Adult and Aging Services Agency. “The Alzheimer’s Association applauds Chairman Tommy Benton and other members of the legislature for passing HB 86. This legislation is long over-due and will allow the re-positioned aging agency to fully focus on the issues that affect the aging population including those living with Alzheimer’s or living the 24/7 life of a caregiver” according to Ginny Helms, Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter. The bill received overwhelming support in both chambers. HB 86 passed the House by a vote of 160-3 and passed the Senate by a vote of 45-1!


HB 86 moves the Division of Aging Services to the Department of Community Health to enable Aging Services to implement careful administration of the State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia; attract more federal and private sector grants and pilot programs; streamline funding for local businesses and community service providers; allow for budget management alignment with service delivery as well as provide innovative leadership for coordination of services with all other departments. Ms. Kay Hind, of Albany, Georgia and past Chair of the Georgia Council on Aging , was instrumental in advocating for the passage of HB 86.


The Georgia Council on Aging (GCOA) was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977 to advise the governor, assembly, and state agencies on matters relating to Georgia’s seniors. Members of the 20-person council, drawn from every region of the state, also advocate for aging Georgians and their families and make recommendations to lawmakers and agencies on programs for seniors.


Date Posted: March 30, 2015
Thanks to the Albany Woman's Club and Mark's Greenhouses Nursery, the Kay H. Hind sign now includes a beautiful flower bed.

WALB - March 30

The SOWEGA Council on Aging received a beautiful donation from the Albany Woman's Club and Mark's Greenhouses Nursery.  When the buildingn was originally built, there wasn't enough funding for landscaping.  Organizers with the senior center were more than excited to receive the donation.  The hope is that the location receives more donations such as the new flowers.  "Any club that wants to do something, or individuals, will be glad to have them step forward." Kay Hind said.  The flowers are not only for the seniors citizens to enjoy, but anyone in the community.





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