Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman, Janet Metzger, Jean Whitham, Hilda Rhodes, Beth Wagner, Sam Crocker, Ingrid Heller
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, Julia Pemberton, Eloise Barron (RVNA)
Mrs. Kopfstein called the December 3, 2014 meeting to order at 9:05 am in the Heritage Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the meeting of November 5, 2014 be accepted as corrected. Metzer, Crocker. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 1, under Report from Ridgefield VNA, Mrs. Barron is now the Navigator….
REPORT FROM DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES
Mrs. Schiron reported she attended a Lion’s Club dinner to speak on the needs of area seniors. The group is looking for opportunities for community service and to see what their members could do to help. One idea that was discussed was for those with some carpentry or building skills to do small repair jobs where needed. Mrs. Schiron is working with Bill Walsh on this goal.
Mrs. Schiron also made homebound visitations to check on the living conditions. She noted that the Bishop Curtis facility in Bethel is now accepting applications for their residence.
Thanksgiving brought in many contributions for the food pantry, cookies and gift cards. A group of JRMS students brought in food for the pantry and stocked the shelves.
The Budget Workshop is scheduled for January 9, 2015. Mrs. Metzger suggested that a review of the budget be done at the next meeting, prior to the budget workshop.
Mrs. Whitham commented on the recent scams that have impacted three Redding residents. Commission members noted that seniors are especially trusting and should not be taken in by these. Discussion followed on how to get publicity and notice to all of Redding’s seniors. Mrs. Kopfstein suggested another program to highlight scams and fraud, and she will speak with Police Chief Fuchs on the subject.
SENIOR CENTER COORDINATOR REPORT
Mrs. Sibilio reported on attendance at the exercise-type classes. Advance registration and prepayment is slow, with some people paying after the first of the month. She, Mrs. Schiron, Mrs. Moran and First Selectmen Pemberton met to review the fee structure and two additional plans now exists. The 30-day, 10 visit class pass for exercise-type classes is available for $50. This gives the user great flexibility. In addition, there is a 30-day unlimited visits pass available for $75. The drop-in fee continues for all classes, $7 for exercise –type classes and $10 for the art classes. The new 30 day plans will be available after January 1. Commission members suggested a 1-page explanation of the fees be created, posted and emailed to all.
The holiday luncheon is planned for Tuesday, December 9. The National Charity Group will assist the Senior Center staff with preparation and serving of the meal. Currently 45 seniors have signed up for the lunch. The school musical groups will provide entertainment.
REPORT FROM FIRST SELECTMEN
Julia Pemberton was present for this portion of the meeting. She reported that work on the Redding Directory of Services for Seniors and Their Families, 2nd edition is continuing. All resources are being checked for accuracy. A draft will be available for review prior to printing. She has a meeting planned with the Director of Meadow Ridge to review programming options, collaborating on programs that can be held at the Community Center.
Van usage is also being reviewed. The usage is reaching the limit of available services that can be provided. There is also a concern that the driver is now being asked to assist users beyond the usual scope of work, i.e. assistance getting in/out of the house. The use and policies concerning the use of the van need to be revisited and defined. Commission members discussed the need for alternatives for transportation in Redding. Some suggested the formulation of a group, similar to FISH, which would offer transportation services.
REPORT FROM RIDGEFIELD VNA
Eloise Barron, Ridgefield VNA, noted that the RVNA is celebrating their 100th anniversary and a ground breaking for their new building is planned. She reported on available flu clinics and Well-Child clinics. She explained that Ridgefield has a “Rides for Ridgefield” to assist seniors with transportation. She is happy to share that information with the group.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 7, 2015 at 9:00 am in the Community Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:05 am.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary