IAHSA’s Conference in London last month gave us the opportunity to recognize IAHSA members who provide exceptional programs for elderly around the world through IAHSA’s Excellence in Ageing Services Award.

Ed Gerlock and the Coalition of Services for the Elderly [COSE] was one of the award winners.   Marielle Rompa, Chair of the IAHSA Awards Committee, noted that “empowerment of elderly people who are poor is largely ignored in most societies.  COSE is a very inspirational and practical approach that could be adapted in other countries.”

Congratulations to Ed and the many volunteers that make COSE such a success.

COSE was developed
•    to keep older people in the community active and contributing to the community
•    to support community among poor older people
•    to make the larger community aware of the important contribution of poor older people

Older people need another reference group beyond the family and that other older people with whom they share a common world view.  Within the support and networking of an organization, older people with minimal formal education can become health workers, community organizers, peer counselors, advocates, business partners, home carers, fund raisers, managers, collectors for burial fund benefit, etc. In short, in poor areas of the country with minimal services available for poor people, they can care for each other.