State of Aging in TN
State of Aging in TN: Shorts
Check out the first in our new series of short, audio-only conversations about the needs of older Tennesseans.
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability's (TCAD) Aging Commission Liaison, Anna Lea Cothron, interviews Shelley Matthews about MyRide TN and the current and future transportation needs of older Tennesseans. (Audio only.)
Matthews is the Director of the Southwest Tennessee Development District’s Area Agency on Aging and Disability (SWAAAD). She attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia as a history major and was a National Debate Tournament champion in 1995. Upon return from college, she worked for the Tennessee Disability Coalition in Nashville (providing information and assistance services for consumers calling the Coalition), the Tennessee Brain Injury Association, the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee, and the Middle Tennessee Center for Independent Living.
- More about Shelley Matthews
After moving to West Tennessee in 2002, Matthews accepted a position as the Business Manager for Cheyenne Trace Assisted Living, where she worked for two years. In 2004, she began work for the Southwest Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability. She moved from the Information & Assistance department to the Management Information Specialist position, then to Medicaid Waiver Program Coordinator, and then to Quality Assurance. She followed those roles with Assistant Director and, finally, Director in 2015.
Matthews has led various statewide committees on aging issues and speaks across the state on the impact of aging in Tennessee. Currently she serves as the Secretary of the Southwest Tennessee Inter-Agency Council (for aging service professionals), the Community Leader for the Connected Transitions Coalition, and on the Tennessee Federation on Aging Council. She has served as a volunteer for the State Health Insurance Program for five years and was an Alzheimer’s Walk Team Captain for five years, as well. She has been a recipient of the Dale Carnegie Honor Award, Southwest Tennessee Development District’s Employee of the Year, Exemplary Service Recognition by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Special Exemplary Project Award by the Rural Health Association of Tennessee, and a member of the Jackson Sun’s Forty under Forty Class of 2015. She is a 2016 Graduate of the University of Tennessee Martin’s WestStar Leadership Program.
The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability's (TCAD) Aging Commission Liaison, Anna Lea Cothron, interviews Ed Cole about the current and future transportation needs of older Tennesseans. (Audio only.)
Following his retirement from a career in local and state government, as well as the non-profit community, Ed Cole is now active in several Tennessee community initiatives. He currently leads the Senior Transportation Leadership Coalition of the Greater Nashville Council on Aging, for which he serves on the board. He serves as the Governor’s Appointee for Nashville-Davidson County on the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and is the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County representative on the Cheatham County Railroad Authority (CCRA). Additionally, he is a member of the Downtown Nashville Rotary Club and other professional organizations, has served in leadership roles for numerous non-profit organizations, and is currently on the board of the Greater Nashville Council on Aging.
- More about Ed Cole
Ed retired as the first Executive Director of the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee in June, 2014. He was appointed to this position in April, 2010, before which he was the first Chief of Environment and Planning and Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) from 2003-2010. Prior to his work for TDOT, Ed was the first Executive Director of Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a 10-county regional visioning organization across Middle Tennessee.
Thank you Cookeville and Tennessee Tech!
Our collection of learning resources began as Tennessee for a Lifetime, envisioned as a wat to help Tennesseans of all ages learn about growing older. Aging is something we all do, and to a lot of people it feels more complicated now than ever before. The Commission's goals were to provide free lessons on aging for all ages, to help people plan, get them to think, and assist them in taking action when they should.
Our presentations on the campus of Tennessee Tech, in Cookeville and under the Tennessee for a Lifetime banner, were well received. Check out the keynote by TTU Coach Watson Brown.
Northeast State Community College
Our first learning event was held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tennessee. Topics covered included aging in place (living at home as long as possible), end-of-life care, Medicare, and caregiving, among others. The two most popular classes were "iPad Vs Swiss Army Knife" and "The Other Bucket List."
Our presenters brought insight from a variety of backgrounds and included East Tennessee State University instructors, First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging staff, and the director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
These aren't courses for credit. If you can't attend, you don't lose tuition, you miss an opportunity to learn about things you need to know. We don't want that. Our goal is to help educate as many people as possible. To that end, we recorded what we could to make it available to watch online. And because they feel the same way, some of our contributors have also made their presentations available online. Choose a topic from the left hand menu, under the heading "State of Aging in TN," to learn more.