Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman; Alice Pardee, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Whitham, Beth Wagner, Lea Mintz, Janet Metzger, Florence Hayes, Sam Crocker, Louanne Lang
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Natalie Ketcham and Eloise Barron (Ridgefield VNA)
Mrs. Kopfstein called the January 2, 2013 meeting to order at 9:01 am in the Community Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2012 meeting as corrected. Whitham, Rhodes. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: typo on page 2, under Other Business, Laurel Ridge
UPDATE FROM RIDGEFIELD VNA
Eloise Barron recapped the services available from the Ridgefield VNA. Ridgefield has recently conducted a survey regarding a transportation program for the town and the program planning is moving forward. Ms. Barron has supported the concept of including neighboring Redding in the program. She noted there is a potential for a wide area network of transportation opportunities. She has been impressed with the Redding program, particularly the vehicle size that is more manageable than the larger bus-type vehicle.
The Commission members discussed the current Van Program in Redding. The question of offering van trips on Fridays was discussed. Currently no van trips are scheduled on Fridays as the town offices are closed that day. It was noted that the schedule of the driver’s time could be re-worked to include Friday van trips, and/or another part-time driver could provide the additional service. Currently van trips average 106.7 miles per day, and 8.3 trips per day. Commission members asked for additional data, including the number of people not able to get a requested van trip and how adding Friday to the schedule would impact the program. Ms. Siblio provided details of the actual number of who utilized transportation and for what purpose; a total of 291 trips were provided during the last quarter of the year.
Eloise Barron suggested that emergency kits be prepared for isolated elders. The kits could include hand warmers that Ridgefield VNA has available, as well as some ready-to-eat meals, water etc. Ms. Barron has two interns available to assist with the assembling of kits. Gail Schiron will work with the students.
The Ridgefield VNA is sponsoring a Health Fair on March 16 in Ridgefield. The event is open to all and a variety of screenings will be available. Detailed information will be on the Ridgefield VNA website.
Yellow Dot Program: only a few have taken advantage of this program. The program is designed for drivers to have important medical information in their vehicle, whether or not a yellow dot is in the vehicle window.
Ms. Schiron reported on the following:
1. Budget workshop: the meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 11. The time slot for the COA has not yet been determined. Commission members were encouraged to be present.
2. Budget: Mrs. Schiron asked for Commission input on the topic of program fees. Currently the card system (10 classes for $50) is in place. Revenue is about $4,000/year, and expenses are about $20,000. The suggestion has been made to change to a program fee with payment for 6 or 8 weeks up front. Discussion followed. The sense of the commission members was that the “card” system is convenient and economical for the seniors. The programs are a service for the residents, and the benefits outweigh the costs. Mrs. Ketcham encouraged the Commission to broaden participation in the programs. She would like to see the building used to its highest potential.
3. Visitations: Mrs. Schiron reported on homebound and hospital visitation and her work with families requiring assistance. She noted that holiday gift baskets were delivered to 16 residents.
4. Display case: Mrs. Schiron reported the department is interested in acquiring a display case, a minimal cost) to display various creations, art, ceramics, quilts, etc.
SENIOR CENTER COORDINATOR
Marie Sibilio reported the following:
1. The AARP Safe Driver Program was attended by 13 people and there were 40 people at the holiday luncheon.
2. Upcoming programs and events were reviewed.
Lea Mintz related a conversation with one of the seniors in town who appreciates the senior center. She introduced Paula Allen who comes to the senior center for programs and lunch, and importantly, it provides her with the opportunity to socialize with others.
FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS
Mrs. Kopfstein reminded all to gather input on the focus questions for discussion at the February meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2013, at 9:00 am at the Heritage Center. A reminder, inclement weather and school closings will cancel meetings.
Motion: move to adjourn. Mintz, Whitham. Approved. Unanimous.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 am
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary