Advisory Council Meeting

January 10, 2008

Minutes

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

Roger Bailey

Jim Barlow

 

Steve Budner

Cassie Castleberry

Helen Davis

 

Rene DeMattei

Manfred Diehl

Marcy Greenslit

 

Elnora McCloughan

Janet Montera

Barbara Nuss

 

Ellen Pihlstrom

Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens

 

Barbara Tuttle

Stan Ulrich

Sharon Zamora

 

 

 

 

Members Absent:

Matt Jackson

Don Venneberg

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Tina Hugo

Margaret Long

 

Ruth Long

Katy Mason

Lynette McGowan

 

Linda Rumney

Laura Sutherlin

 

 

 

 

 

Guests Present:

Jerry Bootzin

Carol Pegg

 

CALL TO ORDER

Elnora McCloughan called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.

INTRODUCTIONS

Jerry Bootzin and Carol Pegg from Park Regency introduced themselves.

CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES OF November 8, 2007

Minutes were accepted as presented.

CHAIR REPORT

Elnora McCloughan read the Governor’s proclamation regarding Obesity Awareness Month.  Elnora read the information sheet from the Secretary of State regarding a Fraud Alert on scams.  Elnora thanked Earl Stevens for the report sent on the RTA.  Margaret will send a copy of the report to the Advisory Council.

UPDATE ON OFFICE ON AGING

Margaret Long asked for the Advisory Council input regarding meeting space.  Margaret explained that the lobby at 1501 is packed, especially on Thursdays.  Parking is also a real issue.  Margaret suggested finding an alternative meeting place.  Margaret reported that the Office on Aging may be moving in late spring or early summer to a building at Midpoint (near the jail).  Margaret does not think there will be any meeting space at the new location.  Margaret suggested we look at the Courthouse meeting rooms.  Other options were discussed.  The Office on Aging will investigate options and report back to the council next month.

 

Margaret discussed new legislation being introduced by Jim Riesberg to increase the Older Coloradoans Funding.  There will be a need for strong advocacy and education efforts later in the session.  Health and Human Services should pass the bill with no problem.  It will most likely sit in Appropriations until March.  Last year the bill looked favorable and then at the last minute, it looked like it would be defeated because it comes out of pot of money that pays for transportation.  The “Road Warriors” who advocate for transportation, put up a good fight against the additional $2 million.  Margaret also noted that Senior Day at the Capitol will be on February 27th.  Larimer County is known for having the largest contingent of seniors to attend.  Stan Ulrich added that AARP will again sponsor the bus trip to Denver.  The charge is $10 and includes lunch at the Golden Corral.  A continental breakfast will be available at the Fort Collins Senior Center before the departure.

 

Margaret reported on Silver Print Colorado, a group from the Colorado delegates that attended the White House Conference on Aging.  This group is currently forming “think tank” committees to work on a variety of topics that were discussed at the conference.  Margaret distributed copies of an email regarding information on subcommittees and asked the council to sign up if they are interested.  The meetings are usually in the early morning in Denver.

 

Margaret forwarded an email with sign-up information for internet conferences on the development of a senior friendly environment.  Two council members reported that they tried to sign up and were put on a waiting list. 

COUNCIL MEMBER BIOGRAPHY:

Helen Davis gave a brief autobiography.

OFFICE ON AGING PARNTER PRESENTATION:  Larimer County Office on Aging Ombudsman Program, Tina Barker and Linda Rumney.

Jim Barlow introduced Tina Barker and Linda Rumney from the Larimer County Office on Aging Ombudsman program.  Both Tina and Linda have a BS in Social Work from Colorado State University and started in the Office on Aging as interns.  Tina has worked with the Ombudsman program for five years and Linda has been with the program for three years. 

 

Tina and Linda stated that the Ombudsman program is a federally mandated program through the Older Americans Act.  The Ombudsman are advocates for people living in licensed assisted living and nursing home facilities. They are not mandated to cover independent or private non-licensed facilities.  In Larimer County there are 14 skilled nursing facilities and 28 assisted living facilities, therefore the two of them cover approximately 2,258 beds/clients.  The federal mandate includes a requirement to visit each nursing facility at least once of month and each assisted living at least once quarterly.

 

Tina and Linda explained that each state has an Ombudsman program and states run their programs differently.  Some are private agencies; some cover several counties and most use volunteers.  In the State of Colorado the Ombudsman program is divided into regions and each program has local Ombudsmen that follow the policies and procedures provided by the State Ombudsman.  Larimer County currently has two volunteer Ombudsmen. 

 

In Larimer County, residents, family members or facilities call the Ombudsman with concerns.  The Ombudsman investigates and advocates for the resident as well as problem solves.  The Ombudsmen try to empower residents to advocate on their own behalf.  If residents don’t feel comfortable advocating for themselves, the Ombudsman will advocate on their behalf.   In approaching the facility management, the Ombudsmen prefer a non-adversarial relationship, not one of intimidation.  The Ombudsmen like to build relationships with staff and residents.  They are a resource for the facilities as well as the residents, but they are really there for the residents; the residents drive what the Ombudsmen do. 

 

The Ombudsman must investigate any type of alleged abuse such as sexual abuse as well unusual death.  They work with local law enforcement and Adult Protection Services (APS) on these cases.  The Ombudsmen also work frequently with the family members of residents.  Many times it is the family members or the Power of Attorney that contact the Ombudsman.  Mediation between residents, staff and family members is another part of their job.  The Ombudsmen attend resident councils and work to educate the community, residents and staff on resident rights.  The Ombudsman will also help families and residents choose a facility that will best meet their needs. 

 

Tina and Linda invited members of the Council to become volunteers for the Ombudsman Program.  The commitment to volunteer is one year.  Volunteers are required to visit a facility or facilities once a week for an hour and attend a training meeting with the Ombudsman once a month.  The Ombudsmen provide all the training which certifies the volunteer for one year. 

SENIOR ADVISORY REPORTS

Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Stan Ulrich announced that the board has five new members.

 

Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that the Bridging the Gap meeting will be next Wednesday at McKee at noon.  The job fair meeting will be next Thursday at the Fort Collins Senior Center.  Earl stated that the Board is working on the development of a survey with veterinarians to learn if they offer discounts to seniors.  Earl stated that the Loveland valentines will be ready on February 1st and will be available at Loveland’s Walmart, King Soopers and Safeway. 

 

Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz reported that the Foundation set a special meeting on whether to move forward with the Office on Aging partnership.  Mary stated that the Board is in the process of developing guidelines for reviewing potential new members.  Lynette McGowan suggested that the Foundation contact 211 for a list of volunteers that are interested in serving on boards.

 

Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.

 

Human Relations Commission: 

No report given.

 

Commission on Aging: 

No report given.

COMMITTEE & STAFF REPORTS

Community Outreach & Education Committee

Mary Shultz reported that the committee discussed establishing a relationship with the Northside Aztlan Center.  The committee is planning for an Office on Aging staff member and a council member to attend the lunch twice per month and be available to talk with the people in attendance. 

 

Mary stated that Margaret told them about the Train the Trainer Program for Project Visibility.  Carolyn Funk, Rene DeMattei and Sharon Zamora will attend along with Ombudsmen, Tina Barker and Linda Rumney. 

 

The committee discussed the need for a committee member to attend the County Disaster plan meetings.  Sharon Zamora discussed the contents of a blizzard box.  The committee also discussed battery operated tracking bracelets that people with Alzheimer’s can wear.  Randy Eubanks was very interested in this topic and will bring the information to commissioners. 

 

Media & Public Relations Committee

Jim Barlow reported that the committee scheduled Gary Thomas from SAINT as the speaker for February’s meeting.  Jim stated that Deni LaRue, the Larimer County Community Information Manager, will attend the January 18th meeting to help develop a plan to promote the Office on Aging.  The Executive Committee is invited to attend.  Room 3 at the Senior Center was reserved for this committee meeting. 

 

Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

Roger Bailey reported that the committee discussed moving forward with the Foundation on Aging partnership.  The committee discussed setting up a visioning workshop with the Foundation on Aging.  The committee is looking at getting someone from the City of Fort Collins to facilitate the workshop.  There is also a consulting firm out of Denver that might be in a position to help.  JVA is working in northern Colorado with non-profit boards and offering technical assistance.  Margaret stated that the Office on Aging does have some money set aside for program development if the Foundation on Aging wants to move forward.  

 

Pubic Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the committee heard from several legislators.  The committee will follow the bills that pertain to the Office on Aging.  Stan stated that the Governor sounded very positive in his State of the State speech.  One of the goals is providing affordable health care to every Coloradoan. 

 

Stan commented that he is currently working on changing the bus route to the Northside Aztlan Center.  Stan spoke to the scheduler who agrees that it is a dangerous situation.  Stan had made a suggestion to stop at Willow instead of Jefferson, or reverse the route which would improve the service.  Stan has not heard back from the scheduler.

 

Staff Reports

Laura Sutherlin reported that there are advertisements for the Office on Aging and ARCH in the North Forty News and Fossil Creek Current. 

 

Lynette McGowan reported that she worked with Deni LaRue and they completed some press releases.  Lynette commented that the media committee will really enjoy working with Deni because she appreciates the work of the Office on Aging. 

 

Katy Mason asked the Council for three volunteers to be representatives on the Bridging the Gap committee.  The meetings are the 3rd Wednesday of the month at McKee starting at noon.  Mary Shultz, Elnora McCloughan and Helen Davis volunteered.  Katy reported that she is busy preparing for the 2008 Senior Tax Work-Off program.  This program is funded by the county not through the Older American’s Act.  The program involves hiring people to work in various County departments to work off a portion of their property taxes.  Katy stated that the funding for the program is $20,000, which is very limited.  

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

See above for Stan’s announcement on the Senior Day at the Capital.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Elnora adjourned the meeting at 3:28 p.m.