OFFICE ON AGING ADVISORY COUNCIL

February 9, 2006

Minutes

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

 

Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

Paul Bell

Steve Budner

 

Carolyn Funk

Beverly Hageseth

Ellen Pihlstrom

 

Karen Reinhardt

Mary Shultz

Lloyd Spawn

 

Earl Stevens

Janet Tosch

Stan Ulrich

 

Don Venneberg

Hal Wilson

Sharon Zamora

 

 

 

 

Members Absent

Gerry Hinks

Olivia Larry

Elnora McCloughan

 

Barbara Nuss

Carol Rehme

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Ruth Coberly

Tina Hugo

 

Margaret Long

Katy Mason

Glen Rathgeber

 

 

 

 

Guests Present:

Dr. Moin Siddiqui

Elaine Boni

Parker Preble

CALL TO ORDER

Lloyd Spawn called the meeting to order.

INTRODUCTIONS

Lloyd Spawn made the following introductions:  Human Relations Commission, Dr. Moin Siddiqui, Elaine Boni, and Dr. Parker Preble.  Tina Barker introduced Joey Kerns, an intern for the Ombudsman Program.  Lloyd also recognized new members, Donald Vennberg, and Beverly Hageseth.

OPEN DISCUSSION/COMMUNITY INPUT

There was no open discussion or community input.

CONSIDERATION OF AGENDA

The agenda was updated before the meeting; the addition of Bridging the Gap Committee was added. 

CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES OF January 12, 2006                     

Earl Stevens recommended correction of spelling on page 4, under Loveland Senior Advisory Board, Mr. Rick Stenton should be spelled, Sutton.

CHAIR REPORT

Lloyd Spawn reported that he has received all of the committee goals.    Lloyd discussed the Feb. 3rd. centenarian celebration at Oakridge.  He felt there was a good turn out from the advisory council. 

UPDATE OF OFFICE ON AGING

Margaret Long reported that the Office on Aging has had a busy start for 2006. The current obsession for the office is the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug program.  Margaret reminded the council that Lynette McGowan was oversees for a month.  Margaret reported that Lynette is back and although she had a great time in Thailand, unfortunately she now has shingles.  She will not be in the office for a few more days.  Margaret distributed a get well card for Lynette.

 

Margaret discussed the next process of creating a 4-year plan which is due at the end of the year.  Margaret feels that we have some good information to use with the Strengths and Needs Assessment.  Margaret will be discussing goals with the council which will be included in the 4-year plan. 

 

Margaret is concerned with indications that the federal budget for the Older American’s funding will be reduced.  Margaret asked the council to think about advocating individually and as a group.

 

Margaret reported on the progress of the ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Center) grant.  The ADRC will create a system that will make it easier for both seniors and persons with disabilities to access services.  In addition, the program will provide limited case management to seniors and people with disabilities.  The new ADRC position will be housed in the Office on Aging.  The county has advertised the position and will be interviewing next week.  The goal is to have someone on board by March. 

MEDICARE PART D UPDATE: 

Katy Mason reported that Medicare Part D continues to be a very difficult program.  We are receiving many calls from clients that are having problems obtaining their medication.  Katy’s fear is that there are a number of people that go home from the pharmacy without their medication and don’t know who to call.  Katy reported that the call volume is down but the cases are more difficult with greater complexity.  Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to develop “fixes” for specific categories but many times the clients with problems do not fall into those categories.  Katy reported that the Office on Aging is continuing to use General Assistance money to pay for prescriptions until specific solutions are found for each case.  The Office on Aging is now at a point that many times the only option is to turn the case over to CMS.  Tina, Linda, Margaret, Katy and the two temporary employees’ are continuing to work on these cases.  Katy asked the council to continue to advocate through the legislature with letters describing the problems.  Ellen Philstrom suggested that the council members encourage friends to get help through the Aspen Club and to document stories that can be shared with elected officials.  Karen Reinhardt shared her experience with finding a plan that covers her medications. 

 

Katy reported that there are still some pharmacies that are not on board with the program.  This seems to be particularly true with medications that are still covered by Medicaid.  Pharmacies continue to deny people even when Medicaid is saying that they will cover the costs.  The Office on Aging is continuing to find new ways to deal with the problems as the program evolves.  We have to remember that 61% of the senior population does not have a college education.  The Medicare Part D process is complicated; highly educated people are having trouble figuring out this program.

BRIDGING THE GAP COMMITTEE: 

Katy described the Bridging the Gap luncheon.  It is held every year with the purpose of bringing together providers of senior services.  The luncheon committee consists of volunteers, three each from the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board, Loveland Senior Advisory Board and the Office on Aging Advisory Council.  The committee’s responsibility is to plan the event.  This year it was decided that the luncheon will be held in Loveland.  The committee meetings will start on February 15th at noon and continue on the third Wednesday of every month.  Katy encouraged participation and commented that it is not a huge commitment.  Ellen Philstrom and Mary Shultz volunteered. 

SENIOR ADVISORY REPORTS

Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

No report was given. 

 

Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that Bridging the Gap Networking Luncheon is set for September 29th.  The board discussed whether Bridging the Gap should continue to be a luncheon or change to a continental breakfast.  Earl reported that there were two members accepted to the board from the Seasons Club and the Aspen Club.  Earl reported that there was discussion regarding the Loveland sales tax rebate for low income residents.  There was concern about restricting the rebate’s availability to those who live in the city limits.  With this restriction, trailer parks outside the city limits would be excluded.  The board felt that including the area within a 7 mile radius outside the city limits might be a viable solution to their concerns.  This recommendation was passed onto the finance committee and will be presented to the city council. 

 

Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz gave a brief overview of the Foundation on Aging.  Mary reported that the Foundation is continuing to help with prescription costs. 

 

Larimer County Commissioner

Karen Wagner was not present.

HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION PRESENTATION:

Dr. Siddiqui gave a brief description of the Human Relations Commission.  The commission was founded in 1964.  It is an education forum in an advisory capacity to the Fort Collins City Council.  One of the goals of the commission is to meet with other boards and commissions and develop plans of cooperation. 

COUCILMEMBER BIOGRAPHY:

Janet Tosch gave a brief biography of herself.

COMMITTEE & STAFF REPORTS

Education Committee

Mary Shultz reported that the subcommittee for the planning of Older Americans Month has requested names of seniors that have contributed to the community after their retirement.  Mary asked the council to respond to Carol Rehme in order to gather a story and a picture for the newspaper. 

 

Mary reported that the Workforce Center took over the planning of the Job Fair which is scheduled for April 20th at 12:00 p.m. at the Fort Collins Senior Center.  There are committee meetings on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:00.

 

Mary stated that she discussed the existing calendar systems with Linda Ekblad from the United Way 211.  She found that a couple exist but they are narrowly focused in nature. 

 

Executive Committee

Lloyd Spawn reported that the committee discussed board applicants to serve on committees.  Lloyd responded that the Education committee is at its peak size.

 

Lloyd reported that new member orientation will be before the regular advisory council meeting on March 9th, starting at noon.  The Office on Aging is requesting that all committee chairs plan to attend.  Pizza will be provided. 

 

Lloyd reported that the committee discussed possible sites for the Advisory Council meetings.  It was decided that the April meeting will be held at the Harmony Library, Estes Park Senior Center in June, and the Seasons Club will sponsor the September meeting. 

 

Lloyd stated that directly after their meeting, the committee also discussed possibilities for action on Part D, slate of officers which is due in May, and the Speakers Bureau training.

 

Health Committee

Carolyn Funk reported that the next meeting will be on February 28th.

 

Membership Committee

There was no report given.

 

Nutrition Committee

Margaret Long reported that Poudre Valley Hospital indicated that they do not want to continue providing Volunteers of America (VOA) congregate meals.  VOA met with Loveland Meals-on-Wheels to discuss the possibility of their cooking the meals.  Diane is continuing to look at other possibilities.  The Nutrition committee is available to help if necessary. 

 

Housing Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the committee decided to have a liaison attend other community committees that have a similar focus.  The goal is to stay in contact with all similar committees. 

 

Transportation Committee

Karen Reinhardt reported that the committee worked on goals.  Margaret Long reported that the Office on Aging is in the process of getting all the transportation providers together to conduct a roundtable discussion.  The Office on Aging has contracted with Health and Human Services.  Funds will be coordinated to fund rural transportation and there may be a need to include more than just seniors.  Kathay announced that transportation is a high priority. 

 

Staff Reports

Katy Mason reported that she is currently conducting the Senior Tax Work off interviews this week and thanked Carolyn Funk for her help.  Katy reported that she received approximately 100 applications and will most likely have to turn away a third of the applicants. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Lloyd Spawn reminded the council that there is Speakers Bureau training directly after this meeting.  Lloyd thanked the Human Relations Commission guests. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Earl Stevens motioned to adjourn the meeting, Steve Budner seconded the motion.