LARIMER COUNTY OFFICE ON AGING ADVISORY COUNCIL

Unapproved Minutes

May 13, 2004

1:30-3:30 PM

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Room 135B

Fort Collins, Colorado† 80524

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Members Present:

Paul Bell

Elnora McCloughan

Barbara Nuss

 

Karen Reinhardt

Mary Shultz

Lloyd Spawn

 

Earl Stevens

Stan Ulrich

Hal Wilson

 

 

 

 

Members Absent

Bill Benton

Steve Budner

Rita Dykstra

 

Carolyn Funk

Gerry Hinks

Johanna Inman

 

Ray Martinez

Tom Nix

Carol Rehme

 

Ken Tharp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

Donna Brumbaugh

Tina Cheatum

Ruth Coberly

 

Glen Rathgeber

Margaret Long

Tina Hugo

 

 

 

 

Guests Present:

Tom Bender

Denny Bettenhausen

C. Dean Miller

 

Gordon Michel

Kathy Snell

 

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mary Shultz called the meeting to order.

 

INTRODUCTIONS OF GUESTS

Recognition of Denny Bettenhausen, Executive Director of Ensight Skills Center and Gordon Michel, member of her Board.

 

OPEN DISCUSSION/COMMUNITY INPUT

There was no open discussion or community input.

 

TRENDS AND ISSUES

No trend or issues were discussed.

 

ADJUSTMENTS, THEN MOTION TO ACCEPT MINUTES OF April 8, 2004

Margaret Long received a call from Marjorie McTaggart in which she would like the wording changed on Page 4, 2nd paragraph under Transportation Committee.† Marjorie did not ask if Smart Trips could come and speak to the Transportation Committee.† She asked only if we had contacted Smart Trips and suggested they might be helpful to the committee.†

 

Earl Stevens moved to accept the minutes, Barbara Nuss seconded the motion.† Minutes accepted as submitted with the one correction.

 

CHAIR REPORT

Mary Shultz was at the State Science Fair last month as a judge.† Mary noted that the April 8th minutes mentioned that she and Margaret met with the County Commissioners for our 4-year review. She affirmed that the review went well and no substantial changes were recommended for the Advisory Council. Mary agreed with Steve Budnerís comments in the minutes that the Job Fair went quite well. Approximately 525 people attended which wasnít quite as many as last yearís event, but still a respectable number.† This year on the evaluation they asked if anyone who attended the job fair last year obtained a job as a result of the job fair.† They would like to interview them next year to reinforce that people can get a job through the job fair.

 

Mary reported that the Senior Networking Luncheon committee has been meeting.† The luncheon will be held at The Ranch.† Carolyn Rehme and Gerry Hinks have joined the committee so we have at least 3 people from the council working on the luncheon.† Anyone else is welcome to join.† There will not be a meeting until June.

 

Mary discussed a new group spear-headed by the Salvation Army called Housing Services Center for the homeless.† She is glad that there is a group out there that will not only focus on helping the homeless, but research why they are homeless. †Kathy Snell mentioned that our commissioners have donated some land to the Housing Services Center.† Some of the other agencies involved are: the City of Fort Collins, United Way, Urban Pastors, and many subcommittees.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Mary Shultz is a Colorado native.† She was born and raised in Colorado Springs.† She graduated from Colorado Springs High School, which was the only high school at that time in Colorado Springs.† It was a tradition in her family to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder.

 

In her junior year at CU, she met the man who became her husband in the organic chemistry lab.† That was during WWII; he had enlisted in the Army Air Corp and became an Aerial Photographer.† She completed her degree and received her Bachelors Science in Medical Technology.† She then took the exam and became a Registered Medical Technologist.†

 

They were married after he returned from the war.† After finishing his last semester at CU they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. There he received his degree at Kansas City Western Dental College.† They moved back to Colorado and had 3 daughters.† Unfortunately the marriage didnít work out.† Fortunately she was able to support the children because she had a profession and raised them with the help of her parents.

 

Her favorite subject has always been microbiology and she had the opportunity to come to work at CSU in the Department of Microbiology on a veterinarian research project.† Her first assignment was to order a cattle chute.† She went to the purchasing office on campus, and handed the purchase order to the clerk.† He flipped through some catalogues, looked at her purchase order, looked at her and said; ďWell now young lady, youíre going to have get a letter of justification as to why you want this particular cattle chute.Ē† After that first experience, she found that she could go around all that by requesting a purchase order number for the departmental secretary, call in the order and then send the purchase order to the purchasing office.

 

She worked on several interesting projects including Shipping Fever Complex in Cattle. One of her funniest experiences was working with Herpes Strep in Swine.† While working on this project, she needed to have a throat culture and blood sample from some pigs.† She called the Contagious Disease lab out at Foothills Lab and made her request.† As soon as she hung the phone up it rang again.† It was the Lab Director.† After going around a bit in the conversation, she understood that the men who did the work would shower before and after going into the lab and therefore it was more efficient time wise for them to work in the buff.†

 

The professor that taught Pathogenic Microbiology to the veterinary students involved her in teaching in the lab. Mary retired in 1989 and began her role in volunteering.†

 

Her oldest daughter is married and lives in Delta.† The middle daughter is a Veterinarian and lives out in Wellington with her husband who is a Professor at the University, heís in Reproductive Physiology.† They have Maryís pride and joy, her granddaughter.† Her youngest daughter is married and is a Surgical Nurse for an Oral Surgeon in Minneapolis.

 

UPDATES ON OFFICE ON AGING

Margaret introduced Tina Hugo, the new Departmental Secretary for the Office on Aging.†

 

Margaret presented the revised/final one-year plan for Title III and Title VII dollars.† Not much has changed since we requested back in November.† We are asking for two waivers; one, which we asked for in the initial plan, is to use slightly less Federal dollars than is required in two areas.† First area is In-Home Services (our contract with RVNA). Where we are supposed to use at least 15% of our Part B Title III dollars.† We are asking to use 11% but use State dollars to make 15%.† In addition, we are to use 3% for Legal Services.† We are asking to use 2.2% and make up the difference of .8% once again using State dollars.† The second waiver is for us to do Family Caregiver Programs a direct service.† This is a program where we do some of the program in-house and some of it is contracted out.† Stacy is doing all the program development and outreach.† She can do the consultation, but we have contracted out both the consultation and respite services.† Earl Stevens moved to accept this one-year plan with waivers, the motion was seconded. Motion carried.

 

Margaret reported that shortly we will be doing the State plan in July or August.† We donít know how much money we will have for the state plan. We know that the best we can wish for is a 33%reduction in funds and it might be more if the Governor does not sign a bill that is currently on his desk. The state dollars have been going to direct services including nutrition and transportation.† Margaret wonít know how much we will get until she gets the email from the State giving us our allocation and asking for her to send them our plan.† We could apply for grants to try and cover some of the deficit, but Margaret feels, in general, that we should support our non-profits to help them get grants rather than competing with them.

 

Last month we had a presentation from Leighanna Grupp for VOA.† This month Margaret has asked Ensight to come and do a short presentation.† Their contract is small, but they do so much with it.

 

Presentation from Denny Bettenhausen, Director of the Ensight Skills Center

Denny distributed some brochures outlining the Ensight Skills Center program.† The Ensight Skills Center is in their 3rd year of operation here in Fort Collins.† They are a visual rehabilitation center.† They work with people who have macular degeneration, diabetic renosopy, glaucoma, cataracts or those who have had strokes that affect their vision. Basically they work with anyone who has a disorder or disease that affects their vision which cannot be corrected medically or with glasses, contact lenses or any other kind of device.† Most of the people they see are currently referred to them by an Optometrist.† The national statistics say that there are about 15-16 million people in the United States that have some type of visual impairment.† Locally the reports say that anywhere from 16-21% of our population in Larimer County is reporting that they have trouble seeing in one or both eyes even while wearing glasses.† That comes out to about 40,000 people who are having some sort of difficulty. Vision problems donít correlated with gender, economics, or ethnicity is; they are seeing people from across the board.

 

The Ensight Center has a comprehensive program.† The client comes in for an intake, then they find out what kind of needs they have, what are their goals and they look at where are they have problems.† A lot of times the problem is safety in the home, i.e. they canít see the dials on the stove, see the microwave buttons, or they canít dial a telephone number because they canít see the numbers.† After they find out what the client really wants to be able to do, the client sees the Optometrist who has special low-vision training.† The doctor will sit down with the client for about an hour to an hour and a half.† This isnít like a regular eye exam.† What they look at is how much usable vision does the client have and what kind of tools they need to help get through their day.†

 

Dr. Baldman spends all this time with them showing them difference kinds of magnifiers, different types of lighting, different type of telescopes and talking to them about how they can utilize these in their everyday life.† She always tries to make sure they succeed with at least one device before they leave her office.† She then will explain what worked best with this particular client to the Ensight team which will then sit down with the client and start training.†

 

Once the client has had the training, they sent home with the tools.† There is a Loaner program.† The client can take them home for two weeks, try them out and when they come back Ensight will reassess how things have worked.† If itís working out well and they choose to purchase the tools Ensight will order what they need at that time.† If not, Ensight will look at re-training them or send them home with different equipment.†

 

Ensight also teaches about lighting.† A lot of people think that if they just put 100 or 150-watt bulb in their overhead light everything will be great.† The clients are taught about glare control and contrast.† Very often they could have fairly descent vision but the contrast as we get older starts to fail so the newspaper gets harder to read because itís kind of a dark gray on a light gray background which does not provide a lot of contrast.†

 

Ensight looks at all the different areas that we can address to keep people safe, keep people independent, so that their not being sent to nursing homes or into assisted living if they want to stay in the home.†

 

Ensight also works on helping clients to manage their own finances.† They have talking calculators, large print checks and large print checkbooks that are demonstrated to the families and to clients.† They also teach them how to use closed circuit TVís.†

 

One of the other areas Ensight is working with is software, which the Office on Aging is helping to finance.† More and more people are using computers.† A lot people are communicating via email with their families who live out of state a lot of people are doing their own research online.† Ensight has purchased some new software.†† Zoom Test, is a screen enhancer which will magnify about 16 times what you are trying read up the computer.† The other piece of software purchased is Open Books which is talking software.† It is completely a screen-reading program, everything that you type, everything you touch it tells you what you are doing.†

 

Fortunately, their clientele is really beginning to grow.† They have seen approximately 500 clients in the last 3 years.† Ensight is the only center in northern Colorado, southern Wyoming, and southwestern Nebraska serving this population.† They are a non-profit. Currently Medicare is not paying for this.† Ensight is currently in the process of applying for a Medicare number.†

 

There is a scholarship program.† Itís one of the grants that is written on a regular basis so that they can serve those who canít afford services or devices.

 

COMMITTEE & STAFF REPORTS

Education Committee

Mary reported on the Legislative breakfast.† It will be in September.† Carol Rehme has some ideas for revising the invitations to get more elected officials involved.†

 

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee has suggested several objectives to look at.† We will be looking at the whole Medicare prescription drug card program and what small piece we may want to take action on.†

 

Health Committee

No report was provided as the committee did not meet last month.

 

Membership Committee

Stan Ulrich asked if they are supposed to be the Nominating Committee.† The answer was yes and they will need to have a slate of officers to nominate at the June meeting.†

 

Nutrition Committee

Margaret thanked all those who participated in the Nutrition Coalition.† We have had some favorable articles regarding the VOAís partnership with Poudre Valley and Fort Collins Meals on Wheels.† Margaret and Leighanna Grupp did a radio show this morning regarding the changes in congregate meals.† People are sad to hear about cuts, but would rather have cuts than not to have a program at all.† Margaret has encouraged Loveland Meals on Wheels to look at collaboration with Community Kitchen or McKee as they seek a site for a new kitchen.

 

Senior Attainable Housing Committee

Lloyd Spawn reported that they had a guest at their meeting. The guest was a real estate management type person who is working with a manager of nursing homes and home care centers.† They are in the planning process of building 8 units Ė 4 located in Windsor and 4 in Fort Collins.† These units will be equipped with one caregiver and two seniors.† They are utilizing our list of modifications that seniors need in their homes, i.e. wider doors, etc.† Margaret mentioned that the developer had already met with Donna and Tina, and they found it great that he is really interested in input.†

 

Stan reported that he and Peggy Heller went to a subsidized housing facility to research a compliant.† The complaint was that there was smell of cigarette smoke in the hallways and that there was litter on the grounds.† They found that there was an ashtray close to the front entrance.† They met with the Resident Manager.† She was agreeable and suggested to write a letter to the management company.† Margaret reported that later Genevieve had gone to this facility to do Medicare outreach.† She found that no one was there because someone had torn down the posters announcing the meeting.† She also found that the Resident Manager is no longer working there.† Genevieve had a discussion with a resident about her concern regarding the maintenance man locking the outside doors at night.† Margaret sent the letter back to Peggy with a note that she may want to change the letter slightly.

 

Transportation Committee

Margaret is waiting to hear from the transportation committee of the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board who are working with interns from CSU to put together material about transportation providers that can be presented at a Roundtable meeting.

 

OOA Staff

Donna Brumbaugh reported that they have recruited several new volunteers.† They have spent a lot of time on their training program hoping to retain volunteers.†

 

The Ombudsman are currently planning the annual picnic which will be either July 14th or 21st.

 

The Ombudsman are dealing with a lot of facilities dumping residents on the hospitals based on behavior issues.† The facilities claim that these residents with these behavior issues are unmanageable and sending them to the hospital and refusing to take them back.† The Ombudsman does not find out about this until the hospital discharge planners are scurrying about trying to find another placement.† The facilities by regulation are supposed to provide appropriate discharge planning.† The State Health department is not citing deficiencies to the nursing homes due to lack of evidence.† The only thing we have to fight this with is the regulations and the Health Department.† The regulations state that the only reason you can be involuntarily discharged for are:† non-payment, harm to yourself or others (which has to be proved and documented), or that the facility cannot meet the medical needs of the resident.

 

Genevieve has been doing outreach to low-income and is focusing on the Medicare Prescription Drug Card and $600 credit program.†† We are partnering with the Aspen Club who has the lead on this issue.† Because of how the Aspen Club is currently structured, they generally need the people to come to them for help.† Genevieve is visiting various senior housing complexes; concentrating on low-income because of the $600 credit for the next two years.† We are receiving favorable reviews from the residents.† In order to decide on what card to chose (73 cards currently available), they really need a computer with internet.† Margaret will be discussing with Jill at the Aspen Club to find ways to make sure these seniors get the help they need to select the right card.

 

LIASON REPORTS

Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Dean Miller reported that the meal numbers are up.† The meals are both tasty and nutritious.† He thanked all those that were involved in the new arrangement.

 

Steve Budner directed and planned the Golf Scramble Fundraiser which was well organized and attended.† Approximately $7,000 was raised.

 

The Cemetery Crawl plans are progressing nicely as well as the Chili Cook-off Blue Grass Festival sponsored by Sundance.† He encouraged all to participate.

 

Yesterday was Senior Center day.† The facilities were open to everyone, and the activities were all free.† There was a great turn out.

 

They are still struggling on how to attract the younger older person. They are also considering a name change for the Senior Center.† In Deanís opinion there is a polarization.† He believes that the Senior Center needs to be thought not in the context of the people but the reasons of its existence.† It was created to enhance and facilitate learning and activities.† Stan Ulrich agrees that there is a polarization.† There is a group that wants to retain the name Senior Center and the others want to change it to the Recreation Center.† If this happens we will be the only town that doesnít have a ďSenior CenterĒ name.† He thinks it is more than just changing the name it is changing the philosophy of the Senior Center.† The current mission statement says improving the life of seniors. It was suggested that before they change too much, they should check with other centers that have changed their name to see if it impacted their funding.

 

Barbara Shoenberger has critiqued Ken Dicalls book about the aging population and some of its effects on the next 20-30 years.† We will make a decision on next Monday to disseminate to the City Council members.† Mary thought it would be good to have this critique copied for the members.†

 

Loveland Senior Advisory Board Report

Earl Stevens reported that he does an article for the Seniors Marketplace.† The article for June is going to be on the Interfaith Housing Network of the churches in Loveland.†

 

The senior prom was held at Chilsonís Senior Center was successful, with 109 attending.† They will do it there again next year.

 

There is a continuing discussion on the Senior Advisory board sponsoring an extended computer class.† The class would be 2-3 weeks in length for a total of 30-40 hours of training.† The enrollment fee would be $40-$50 for the entire course plus a lab fee for the workbook.† This would start possibility in July.

 

Foundation on Aging Report

No report was provided.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tom Bender received a call from a resident at Taft Hill Mobile Home Park.† She was upset about a $10 pet fee per month being imposed.† In his discussion with the manager, he found that there is no service attached to this fee.† They already have a $25 clean-up fee for pets.† Donna Brumbaugh is currently to doing research on this issue and will turn her results into the Housing Committee.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Mary Shultz adjourned the council meeting.