OKLAHOMA CAPITOL---Oklahomans who want to make a positive difference in the lives of older Oklahomans should consider applying for the Oklahoma Aging Advocacy Leadership Academy, a nationally recognized training program. The academy offers a 10-month course designed to train and develop volunteer advocates for Oklahoma’s older population.
Applications are now available for the academy, sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services' Aging Services Division and Areawide Aging Agency, Inc., of Oklahoma City, and will be accepted through Dec. 1, for approximately 25 slots available in the class. The class convenes in January 2008.
“For a decade, OAALA graduates have been making a significant impact on the aging network in Oklahoma,” said Lance Robertson, OKDHS director of Aging Services. “They have provided leadership on governing boards, advisory boards and make valuable contributions to the planning and development process as Oklahoma continues to move forward to best serve what we know is the most rapidly growing segment of our population.”
Applicants are being sought from across the state to ensure that those selected for participation will reflect the diverse makeup of Oklahoma. There is no cost to participants, other than the time they spend in the weekend training sessions. The academy will be held at the Aging Services Division office, 2401 N.W. 23rd St., Shepherd Mall in Oklahoma City.
“Oklahomans are living longer and the aging of the baby boomers assures that demand for aging programs and services will increase dramatically within the next 20 years,” Robertson said. “We need more advocates who have well developed advocacy skills and who are aware of the issues important to older Oklahomans and their families.”
“Year in and year out, it may be our best opportunity to recruit skilled volunteers in the aging network,” said Don Hudman, executive director of Areawide Aging Agency, Inc.
Faculty for the academy includes nationally and regionally recognized experts in the field of aging. The curriculum includes a mixture of classroom presentation and experiential opportunities. Some of the topics covered include media and legislative advocacy; community based resources and services, the changing health care service delivery system, safety and security issues, intergenerational caregiving, ageism and healthy aging.
Graduates receive additional training opportunities 4 times each year on aging topics. This training also is offered at not cost to the participant.
For additional information, or to receive an application, contact Judith Mowery, OKDHS Aging Services Division, at (405) 521-2281.