Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman, Janet Metzger, Jean Whitham, Hilda Rhodes, Beth Wagner, Sam Crocker, Ingrid Heller, Henry Polio, Lea Mintz (by phone)
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, Julia Pemberton
Mrs. Kopfstein called the January 7, 2015 meeting to order at 9:05 am in the Heritage Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the meeting of December 3, 2014 be accepted as submitted. Wagner, Polio. Approved. Unanimous.
REPORT FROM FIRST SELECTMEN
Mrs. Pemberton reported the Directory of Services would be completed by the end of the month. The Budget Workshop is Friday, January 9, and Social Services budget is scheduled for 11:30 pm. Mrs. Pemberton reported the Senior Center bus service is being discussed, with intent to increase the hours for the service, including Friday service. Also under consideration is a 5-day work week for the Community Center, this would facilitate providing more services for seniors and the recreation area. Another area being explored is the use of the computer room to allow more service and programs that would be available to residents of all ages and interests.
Discussion of expanding the transportation services followed. Commission members feel this service is vital to providing the needed support for seniors to remain in their homes.
Mrs. Pemberton left the meeting at this point.
REPORT FROM DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES
Mrs. Schiron reported on homebound visits and the energy assistance program. She noted that the community and churches were especially generous this year. Many gift cards to local stores were received and were distributed.
Mrs. Schiron commented on the reluctance of some residents to access the Food Pantry at the Heritage Center due to its exposed location and lack of confidentiality. The location and access to the food pantry is not ideal given the number of parents with children in the gym area for activities.
Gail maintains a presence Georgetown on a regular basis. She reports that area residents are reluctant to come to Redding Center to seek the food pantry or financial assistance.
Donations for Redding Shares the Warmth are down from last year. Mrs. Schiron noted that two of the larger contributors have relocated. A donation of $1,000 was received from the Turkey Run at Thanksgiving and will be used to purchase a freezer for the Food Pantry.
SENIOR CENTER COORDINATOR REPORT
Mrs. Sibilio reported attendance at classes was down for December, primarily due to illness and holiday activities. Registrations for January classes are slowly coming in.
36 attended the Holiday Luncheon, 12 people attended the Westchester Broadway Theatre trip, 14 attended the show at Michael’s Grove, two attended the Stress Program, and six volunteers wrapped gifts at the Danbury Mall for the Habitat for Humanity.
Mrs. Sibilio noted that some seniors have complained about our emailed newsletter, especially those without computer access or the ability to print it out. Copies are available in the office. Mrs. Whitham commented that the publicity in the Redding Pilot has increased, but many of the seniors do not get the paper.
A presentation on Scams is planned for January 13, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and includes lunch. Redding Police Officer, Sgt, Chris McManus will make the presentation that will highlight crimes happening via telephone and computer technology.
Mrs. Kopfstein reported that she, Mrs. Pemberton, Mrs. Schiron and Mrs. Sibilio met with representatives of Meadow Ridge to explore opportunities for collaboration on programs. Mrs. Pemberton is continuing with those discussions.
Mrs. Mintz restated her offer to host a Commission on Aging meeting at Meadow Ridge. This will be considered for one of the meetings in the spring.
Mrs. Kopfstein reported that the Police Department has lock boxes available for the storage of medications. These are especially important for parents and grandparents to prevent unauthorized use or theft. These can be obtained at the Police Department for a suggested $25 donation.
The next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2015 at 9:00 am in the Community Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:17 am.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary