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Minutes of Commission on Aging, 06/12/2019

AGENDA: Commission on Aging

RECEIVED 06/17/2019 8:30am
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019

Commission members present:
Ingrid Heller & Karen de Friesse – Co-Chairs, Randi Hutton, Sara Atwood, Jean Rexford, and Hilda Rhodes
Angelica Fontanez – Director of Social Services
Ruth Moran – Senior Center Program Coordinator

Visitors: Kathy Brandt and George Cohen

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.

Approval of Minutes from May 2019
Hilda Rhodes and Randi Hutton – unanimous

I.   Senior Center Program Coordinator – R. Moran
Ruth said “Yoga for the Rest of Us” to take a summer hiatus and a new Photoshop class will be starting up.  The special program given by the Redding Police Depart., “Frauds and Scams” was not well attended but Ruth was disappointed by the presentation.  Ruth believes it is important for seniors to be aware of scams but other programs offered by the AARP are outdated and stale.  The special trip to New London is currently filled with a waiting list.  The program “Reflections of India” was well attended with future events planned.

Sara requested Ruth look into a Zumba Gold class that might appeal to a younger crowd.  Jean asked about doing a garden tour. George commented that he and his wife just did a garden stroll tour and enjoyed the day.  Ruth lamented not having a van available to do more trips.

II.    Director’s Report – Angelica Fontanez
Angelica spoke about an increase in electricity requests. Because of the timing, there are not many programs available but she was able to use funds to help. Angelica also visited a 105 yr. old resident along with high schoolers who have interviewed him and members of the Keystone youth club have visited.  The Brunissen has approved funds to help a veteran who was overwhelmed with medical co-pays.  Regarding the vet, Angelica stressed the need to use an advocate because of the conflict between government agencies paying for various services.  There seemed to be an increase in the use of the food pantry by Redding families and Angelica stressed the need for toiletries as assistance does not paid for such items.

Angelica also briefly spoke about the budget and said she was satisfied with the numbers.

III.   General Discussion on Mission Statement and Policies
Jean addressed the Mission Statement and believed we cannot change said statement, however, how we implement policy is discretionary.  Randi agreed and felt we should assert more authority in senior matters.  The subject of Ruth’s emergency card was addressed briefly; there is a revised version not everyone was aware of.  Ruth also has a small card for use by seniors traveling with the center.

The list of questions to be used to poll other towns was not available and will be discussed at July’s meeting.  George asked for a list of members, emails and phone numbers with Karen to email ASAP.

Maintenance is still an issue with Sara stating that Julia needs to be made more aware and Randi said we need to take action.  Kathi suggested a letter to Julia; with Karen saying the letter should go to all 3 selectmen and Kathi asserting the need to go before the Selectman meeting.  Karen will do a draft, Kathi will help and the commission members will weigh in before the letter is sent.

IV.    Commissioner’s Report
Nothing at this time.

V.    New Business

The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 am.

The next COA meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at Heritage Center.

Minutes prepared by Karen de Friesse