The Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) is a private non-profit centrally located in Berlin, Vermont. COVE is a small but powerful advocacy and education organization serving the needs of older Vermonters since 1981. COVE has maintained a strong and consistent voice in public policy decision-making to ensure the dignity, security and well-being of all aging Vermonters. David Mickenberg, Virginia Milkey and a small group of volunteers provide testimony, sit in committees and review bills, budgets and other materials.
The mission of the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) is to promote and protect a higher quality of life for the state’s older Vermonters. COVE advances its mission through advocacy and education. It works with and for older Vermonters and the organizations that serve them to identify, interpret and respond to critical issues that impact the dignity, security and wellbeing of older Vermonters.
COVE is committed to working toward a state in which:
- Resources, education, information and support services, key to successfully aging, are broadly available and individually appropriate;
- Public Policy is informed by and responsive to the aspirations and challenges of the state’s growing elder population;
- Quality health care is accessible to all residents; and,
- Caregivers are valued, supported and compensated in keeping with their vital role in maintaining the dignity, security and wellbeing of others.
The Community of Vermont elders (COVE) believes that informed and effective public policy is essential to achieve its mission. COVE’s role is to work with older Vermonters and the individuals and organizations that serve them to identify and research both problems and opportunities; develop proposals and strategies; inform and educate the public and policymakers; advocate for or against the adoption or revision of specific laws, rules, regulations or policies; contribute to the process of implementing policies and programs; and, monitor the effectiveness of policies and programs in achieving outcomes and objectives and advancing a higher quality of life. COVE is committed to ensuring that the needs, concerns, safety and wellbeing of older Vermonters who are economically disadvantaged, physically or mentally challenged, or geographically or socially isolated are a central focus in the development and implementation of public policy. COVE recognizes that it must focus its resources and efforts in order to be most effective in its educational and advocacy activities. To that end, COVE evaluates and prioritizes issues, concerns and proposals in accordance with core principles. COVE believes and is committed to ensuring that older Vermonters have a right to:
- Having their value and voice promoted, recognized and respected;
- Accessible, affordable and appropriate resources and services;
- Freedom from abuse, fraud and neglect;
- Be active participants in the development and implementation of policies, programs and plans that directly affect their lives;
- Economic resources necessary to maintain life, safety and security;
- Realize their aspirations as they age;
- Support and respect for their roles as care giver and recipient within their families of choice;
- Being treated with dignity and as an equal member and participant in the life of the community and state;
- Maintain a quality of life that addresses desires and interests as well as needs and concerns;
- Access to a coordinated and effective system of care;
- Independence, and;
- Access to the transportation services necessary to ensure freedom from geographic and social isolation