advocacy at its finest
By MIKE MCGEE
The Tarrant Area Gerontological Society (TAGS) was established in the 1990s as a way to educate professionals who were interested in industries related to senior citizens’ care and other aging issues, says Matt Newton, the organization’s president.
TAGS also offers advocacy for the aging in the county and provides networking opportunities.
It is a mission that has grown over the decades, says Newton, as the needs of those aging within society changes and new knowledge becomes available.
“I think the most important thing that TAGS does is the education role and being able to provide an all-encompassing place where we can provide good, quality education to a broad spectrum of professionals,” he says.
Joining the society is simple and affordable, says Newton.
“We charge $30 for a year,” he says, pointing out that memberships are available online at www.tagstarrant.org.
Partnering with the society enables members to participate in free or discounted TAGS events.
“That’s when you can really build relationships and hopefully see a return on your investment; if nothing else, just to be plugged into an organization that has hundreds of members across Tarrant County makes sense.”
“…If you had a referral that you needed help with, or you wanted to make a referral to somebody that you built a relationship with, you could do that,” he says.
“Or, just to get the education. We have a lot of professionals who aren’t into the networking; social workers, case management, nursing. People all across the gerontological spectrum who utilize us for the hours of education that we give away both free and the ones that we do charge for.”
TAGS is also a great resource for non-members, Newton says.
“If you’re somebody from the outside looking for a particular service… we have our website and we have an amazing virtual administrative assistant… who keeps contact with all of our members and pretty much knows everybody and everything they do and can really start to try to direct them, give them multiple options of people that are plugged in…”
“Caring for these folks who are living longer and wanting to stay independent longer – the more we are able to know about them, about their history, about how to better take care of them, I think it’s just better for all of Tarrant County.”