Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman; Janet Metzger, Beth Wagner, Jean Whitham, Florence Hayes, Lea Mintz (9:30 pm)
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, Bonnie Leavy-Mello (Laurel Ridge Health Care Center), Natalie Ketcham, Julia Pemberton and Chris Hocker
Mrs. Kopstein called the September 4, 2013 meeting to order at 9:09 am in the Conference Room of the Redding Town Hall. A quorum was not present.
Mrs. Kopstein introduced Chris Hocker and Julia Pemberton, candidates for First Selectmen.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the July 10, 2013 meeting were reviewed and corrected. The minutes were not approved as a quorum was not present.
Correction to minutes: page 1, under Ridgefield VNA report, Mrs. Barron spoke of programming opportunities including changes to Medicare A & B.
REPORT FROM BONNIE LEAVY-MELLO
Mrs. Leavy-Mello provided information on upcoming programs and invited all to attend. The “Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled for September 29, 1013 in Norwalk. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an orthopedic surgeon is presenting a lecture entitled (Find Freedom from Knee or Hip Pain on September 18, 2013 at the Laurel Ridge Health Care Center. Flyers about the programs were distributed and will be posted to the bulletin boards.
A brief discussion followed on whether email blasts for these programs should be sent. Mrs. Kopstein cautioned against overdoing email blasts and suggested that an email blast with information about several programs would be appropriate in addition to the monthly schedule of programs.
Mrs. Schiron reported on the following:
- Georgetown office: Mrs. Schiron will have office hours in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Mondays. This will bring her services closer to those seniors and single moms who live in the Georgetown area. Phone calls to Social Services in Redding will be picked up in Georgetown.
- United Way: Mrs. Schiron is participating in a study of the increase of homelessness.
- Lunch program: Mrs. Schiron reported that about 20 individuals attend the lunch program, but they are not happy with the quality of the food being served. Most attend the lunches for the socialization, not the food. Discussion followed. Mrs. Kopstein will contact someone from the State Commission on Aging regarding the food program and quality of food.
- Energy Assistance: Mrs. Schiron will take requests for assistance with energy costs beginning October 1, 2013. She is assuming the guidelines for assistance will be the same as last year; new guidelines have not been announced. Commission members discussed the need to publicize the “Redding Shares the Warmth” program. This program was established to accept donations to assist others with energy costs.
- Discussion group: a “senior” suggested a discussion group or roundtable discussion on what is needed by Redding seniors. Mrs. Schiron will begin planning this type of event for some time in November. More details at the October meeting.
- Summer heat: Mrs. Schiron contacted many seniors during the recent summer heat to be sure they were drinking enough water and were keeping cool.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
Mrs. Sibilio reported on the following:
- Lunch group: because of the Book Fair, those who generally attend (about 20) the lunches had lunch are various area restaurants. Many said they were willing to pay more (than the $2.00 lunch) if the quality of the food was good, and suggested lunch and a movie out would be a good idea.
- Programming: regular programs will start next week.
- Movie following lunch will continue once a month.
- Flu shots have been scheduled, the schedule is in the Newsletter.
- Sharing programs with Newtown: several history programs are planned that will be shared with Newtown. Mrs. Sibilio is exploring other sharing opportunities, including programs and trips.
- Newsletter: the monthly newsletter was sent out via email.
- Fee structure: Mrs. Sibilio reported the new fee structure is in place. The fees for exercise and jewelry programs are $50 for 10 random classes, $40 for 10 consecutive classes, and $7 for drop-ins. The art class is an 8-week session for $52. Special programs or singleton programs have separate charges. Discussion of programs and classes followed. One suggestion was a cooking class. Commission members were in agreement that these classes or programs should be paid for when a reservation is made to be sure that the costs incurred are covered.
Mrs. Kopfstein suggested contacting AARP for a speaker on the future of Social Security and Medicare.
Mrs. Moran noted that the Joel Barlow High School student, Lucas Kocha, who assisted seniors with their electronic devices over the summer, plans to continue. She is working with him to establish a schedule. She also reported the bulletin boards have been updated and improved in appearance. There is a bulletin board near the entrance to the Heritage Center and one at the entrance to the Community Center.
Mrs. Kopstein noted that there are openings for two alternate members and suggestions could be sent to the First Selectman’s office.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2013, at 9:00 am at the Heritage Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:59 am.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary