Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman; Janet Cianci, Hilda Rhodes, Louanne Lang, Sam Crocker, Henry Polio, Jean Whitham, Janet Metzger
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, Natalie Ketcham,
Mrs. Kopstein called the November 6, 2013 meeting to order at 9:04 am in the Community Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the October 2, 2013 meeting be approved as corrected. Crocker, Metzger. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 1, last sentence, change Hines to Himes
Mrs. Schiron reported on the following:
- Wilton Commons: Mrs. Schiron toured the new Wilton Commons, a 50-unit Affordable Senior Rental Housing complex in Wilton.
- Social Services Forum: Mrs. Schiron reported the forum featured CL&P and Yankee Gas and the topic of energy assistance. She also stressed the importance of the Redding’s Shares the Warmth program. Several churches in the area have planned collections for the fund.
- Emergency crisis training: the staff participated in an employee training to be prepared for emergencies situations. There was discussion about having a program for seniors geared to preparedness and safety in the home.
- Emergency Contact List: Mrs. Schiron is updating the Emergency Contact List. She makes phone calls to those on the list during the winter months, and will be in contact with them more in times of emergency or extreme weather.
- New Mini-bus: the new mini-bus has been ordered and is expected to be delivered after the first of 2014. The bus will accommodate passengers and wheelchairs more comfortably than the current van. Mrs. Ketcham reported the disposition of the existing van will be decided at the Board of Selectmen meeting on November 18. They have the option of trading the vehicle in for a value of $3,500 or donating the vehicle to a rescue mission in Bridgeport. The consensus of the group was that the donation would put the vehicle to good use. Mrs. Kopfstein will submit a letter in support of that option to the Board of Selectmen.
- Eloise Barron of the Ridgefield VNA was thanked for all she does for the Redding. She was on site yesterday during the election for the administration of flu shots.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
Mrs. Sibilio reported on the following:
- 35 people attended the Art Gottlieb presentation on the World’s Fair. He will make a presentation on Ellis Island on November 20.
- 18 people attended the presentation on weather
- Alternative Healing, this program was well attended.
- There will be a presentation following today’s luncheon on storm preparedness
- The lunch group lunched in Bethel on the day of the election.
Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Sibilio have been exploring options for the lunch program. The CW program of lunch quality is sometimes lacking. Ruth and Marie explored what it would cost to buy frozen/prepared food to be served and suggested that commission members volunteer to assist with the preparation, serving and clean up. The cost to have meals catered is prohibitive. Currently the cost of the lunch is $2.00. When Marie and Ruth spoke with the lunch regulars, most were agreeable to an increase in price to $4.00.
Discussion of the lunch program followed. All agreed that the social benefit is within the mission of the Commission on Aging, and the reason most of the people attend the luncheons. More information is needed from the Health Department regarding food preparation on and off-site. Ruth and Marie will work on a detail plan of how such a program could work. This will be an agenda item for the next meeting. The goal is to improve the quality of the lunch being served, with a modest increase in price, but covering the costs involved.
THANK YOU TO NATALIE
Mrs. Kopfstein, on behalf of the Commission on Aging, thanked Natalie Ketcham for her contributions to the seniors of Redding, her knowledge, expertise and dedication to all residents.
ELDERLY TAX BENEFIT
Mrs. Kopfstein, along with Mrs. Metzger, attended the Board of Finance meeting on October 28, 2013 to comment on their discussions of the Elderly Tax Benefit. She suggested that the Commission on Aging could be a valuable resource in their discussions. Chairman of the BOF, Bill Alvarez, responded that the next meeting of the subcommittee reviewing the Elderly Tax Benefit would be open to all and would be posted on the Town’s website.
Discussion of the Elderly Tax Benefit followed. Mrs. Whitham will get additional information on the benefit, number of participants, etc. for the next meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 4, 2013, at 9:00 am at the Heritage Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:01 am.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary