TOWN OF REDDING
COMMISSION ON AGING
WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017
Commission members present:
Beth Wagner – Chair, Karen de Friesse, Jean Whitham, Rosalind Kopfstein, Ingrid Heller, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Rexford, Sam Crocker
Angelica Fontanez – Director of Social Services
Ruth Moran – Program Coordinator of Heritage Center
Guests: Anita Taylor, Meadow Ridge, Julia Pemberton, First Selectman and Paul Doyle from Oasis Senior Advisors.
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.
I. Approval of Minutes from April 2017
Motion: Minutes approved as amended; February 2017 changed to March 2017 – unanimous.
II. Senior Center Program Report – Ruth Moran
Ruth talked about the April events which included Backstage Opera Tour, Art Journaling w/Eileen, Redding Encampment talk, AARP “Drive Smart” and “I Wish I knew” – R. Ventura. She is now averaging about 4 events a month. Continuing Ruth’s series on end of life discussions, the Heritage Center and Mark Twain Library will hold another talk “What would you do?” on May 23. Ruth also mentioned that 3 young girls are helping with the senior garden along with RGC member Lynn Ruffing. Ruth also discussed the current fee based programs and Spanish seems to be a continued success along with the Genealogy class.
There is a surplus in the budget because a lot of the events Ruth has planned have been free or with a minimal fee. If the surplus is unused, the money would have to be returned to the town. Ruth suggested a couple of ways to spend the money which would be helpful for future events; a laptop for presentations, a 2nd projector and a projection screen in the lunch room.
The discussion continued with various suggestions of events. Rosalind Kopfstein talked about Veterans health programs, Jean Rexford suggested medical billing information and Medicare/Medicaid payment allotments.
III. Director’s Report – Angelica Fontanez
Angelica talked about the continued difficulty in dealing with state agencies. She mentioned that Dev Patel took a senior to Danbury to complete his application for SNAP. She listed the current social services programs available along with the number of enrollees.
Angelica mentioned the closing of the Meadow Ridge Country Store and Congregation Shir Shalom food drive which helped stock the food pantry. She also participated in the Newtown Presentation at the MTL. Doug Hartline and Angelica worked on making sure seniors had adequate insurance coverage and she reached out to the students and families of a car crash involving Fairfield and Easton.
Angelica has been pursuing the Salvation Army for additional funds. Julia Pemberton added that there is still uncertainty with the CT State budget but Dev’s part-time job has been approved.
IV. Commissioner’s Report – Rosalind Kopfstein
Rosalind Kopfstein and Lea Mintz attended a meeting at the Ridgefield Park & Recreation with others senior commissions. Rosalind gave a brief summary of the presentations. One program, “Are You OK” entails daily phone calls to seniors and another program “Staying Put” allows seniors to stay in their own homes. Rosalind gave information to Angelica.
V. New Business
Anita Taylor of Meadow Ridge announced a Weight Watchers program open to the public and the construction of a new deli.
There was no additional business presented before the Commission; the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 am.
The next COA meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Heritage Center.
Minutes prepared by Karen de Friesse