Board Member Profile - Dr Sara Graham

We recently interviewed Dr Sara Graham, who has served as a COTA NSW board member since 2008.

Board Member Profile - Dr Sara Graham

Board Member Profile - Dr Sara Graham

Released: 13-Sep-2018

Event Date: to

Q: What motivated you to join the COTA NSW board?

It was my long term interest in the social policies that affect older people and family carers. Much of my working life was spent researching and evaluating these policies and seeing how well they met the needs of of older people and of carers.  When I retired from my research job at the the University of New South Wales it seemed a natural progression to use the knowledge I had gained from my  research to advocate for older people and family carers and I was fortunate enough to be able to join first the Board of Carers NSW where I served for a number of years and then the Board of COTA NSW. 

Q: What issue do you believe more people should be talking about? 

There are a huge number of  issues that concern us as older people.  An important one of these is the quality and type of care and medical treatment we will receive towards and at the end of our lives and what part we will be able to play in determining these.  I am a firm believer in advance  care planning and advance care directives which are means by which people are able, in consultation if they wish, with their doctors family and friends, to express their wishes for their future health care treatment. In common with the majority of older people I also support legislation which allows for assisted dying under strict guidelines.

Q: What are some of the opportunities that you’ve discovered with age? 

When I retired I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself!  Since my retirement I have become involved in quite a number of new activities, some volunteering and some social.  Besides my work on the Board with COTA NSW, Ive volunteered with the Red Cross, Medicins sans Frontieres, and been involved in some community activities. For example, I've helped set up a lunch club and discussion group for older people in my local area.  I joined the U3A and of course there’s my reading group!.  Not only have all these these activities been incredibly enjoyable things to do but they have also greatly enlarged my social networks. So I'm actually much busier now than when I was at work!

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