In her day job at ARC, Elisa Lassiter works to connect older adults with community supports and services. And when she’s off the clock, serving this population is her passion.
Elisa spends most of her free time advocating for adults age 65 and up. As an associate member (she’s too young to be a full member) of the Senior Citizen Council of Cobb County, Elisa has been promoting technological conversations between older adults and policymakers this past year.
“I’ve been setting up Zoom meetings, helping older adults use their smart phones to make telehealth appointments, and teaching them to use email to facilitate interactions during the pandemic,” she says.
Elisa, who is a certified gerontologist, is also a caregiver to her 73-year-old mom. She’s helping her mom navigate through access to memory care resources, as well as learning first-hand what to expect when she gets older.
Recently, Elisa facilitated a virtual forum where older adults got a chance to advocate for issues related to housing affordability, transportation, and technology with Cobb County’s state legislators.
There are many resources available for older adults, Elisa explains. The problem is accessibility.
“The barrier is access to services,” she says. “A lot of our caregivers have no idea what home services are available. Also, I see that many people don’t know how to advocate for themselves or their loved ones to express what they need.”
Elisa says that as she ages, she wants to be a change agent for this population and ensure that adults like her find the resources they need.
“We’re all going to age. Let’s put our best foot forward to age in place with grace.”