Larimer County Office on Aging Advisory Council

November 9, 2006

Minutes

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

 

Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

Roger Bailey

Paul Bell

 

Steve Budner

Janet Montera

Barbara Nuss

 

Ellen Pihlstrom

Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens

 

Lloyd Spawn

Barbara Tuttle

Stan Ulrich

 

Sharon Zamora

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members Absent

Rene DeMattei

Marcy Greenslit

Gerry Hinks

 

Elnora McCloughan

Karen Reinhardt

Don Venneberg

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Ruth Coberly

Stacie Hougard

 

Tina Hugo

Margaret Long

Katy Mason

 

Lynette McGowan

Glen Rathgeber

Linda Rumney

 

Laura Sutherlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guests Present:

Andra Coberly

Joanne Johnsen

Betty Thornton

 

Ron Weers

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

Earl Stevens called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m.

INTRODUCTIONS

Earl Stevens welcomed Joanne Johnsen from Elderhaus, Andra Coberly, a reporter from the Fort Collins Weekly and Ron Weers and Betty Thornton, consumers.

OPEN DISCUSSION/COMMUNITY INPUT

There was no open discussion or community input.

CONSIDERATION OF AGENDA

Stand as presented.

CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES OF October 12, 2006                         

Mary Shultz recommended a change to page 1 under Introductions.  Jennifer Miller is running for State Senate, not representative in Senate.  Minutes to stand as presented with one correction.

CHAIR REPORT

Earl Stevens deferred the chair report because of the full agenda. 

PRESENTATION TO DR. SUSAN COLLINS

Stan Ulrich presented a plaque to Dr. Susan Collins who helped the housing committee compile data received from their two housing surveys. 

PUBLIC HEARING ON OFFICE ON AGING 4-YEAR PLAN: 

Margaret Long gave a description of the 4-year plan.  She stated that under the Older Americans Act, the Administration on Aging requires states to create a 4-year plan.  Each Area Agency on Aging (AAA) must have their plan approved by their Advisory Council and Board of Commissioners before it is submitted to the state.  Margaret stated that in addition, the AAA is required to have a public hearing to afford the public the opportunity to be involved in the planning process.  Margaret described resources she used to complete the initiatives section in the plan.  There were five focus groups held in 2005 in preparation for the White House Conference on Aging along with a Hispanic focus group, a Statewide Strengths & Needs assessment and an Office on Aging Staff Retreat.

 

Margaret stated that when developing the 4-year plan we really need to look farther than four years.  We are seeing a possible “Senior Tsunami”; an increasing population in seniors.  Margaret feels that taking this time to plan for the major change in demographics is a must.  Currently, 14% of the population is 60+; by 2020 it will be 20%, although, more importantly, the 75+ population during in same timeframe will go from 13,000 to 20,000. 

 

Margaret stated that the state prescribed forms for financial information only include Federal funds because the local plans are used by the state to write the state-wide plan which is submitted to the Federal government.  Margaret said that to really look at what will happen over the next four years, she and staff did an additional analysis including all funding sources, Federal, state and local.

 

Margaret then distributed to all attending the above mentioned fiscal analysis as well as the required forms outlining the proposed use of Federal funds and the projected units of service.  She stated that the units of service and amount of funding for contracted services will decrease during the four years due to the increase of internal costs.  The only way to stop the decrease is to reduce staffing levels.  Margaret stated that we cannot reduce staff and support new initiatives and maintain current directly provided services.

 

Margaret stated that we are not meeting current needs and those needs will continue to increase in the future.  Margaret reported that the plan demonstrates the worse case scenario based on the assumption that federal and state funding will continue to be flat.  There is hope that the state funding will increase.

 

Margaret reemphasized that there are no plans to change current staffing levels.  At this time the Office on Aging has 2 full-time Ombudsmen, 1 full-time Family Caregiver Coordinator, .75 Outreach Coordinator, 1 full-time ARCH Program Coordinator, and 1.75 Administrative personnel.  Margaret stated that our internal costs are going up which puts the squeeze on the contracted services.  The internal costs for providers will also increase which will ultimately mean a reduction in services. 

 

In looking at year one of the funding grids, Margaret stated that there is a huge funding gap.  In previous year’s, the Office on Aging had carryover and a decent contingency fund.  To cover some of the United Way cuts to senior services, the Office on Aging used $80,000 in carryover and contingency dollars which eliminated any extra padding for the future.  Also, Margaret reported that the Office on Aging used $50,000 of the new state funding received this year on a Volunteer Family Caregiver Respite Program. 

 

Margaret responded to a question in regard to predicting funding.  She stated that although the Older American’s Act was reauthorized no specific funding was set except for the Family Caregiver Program.  Margaret feels that in looking at the election results; we have some good legislators in office that are aware of senior issues.  In the past, federal funding has been up and down, but mostly flat.  The State funding equals almost half of the federal funding and the State funding has been variable.  Margaret doesn’t think we can depend on an increase in the federal funding or from local governments considering that they are not in good shape.  There are hopes that the state may bump up funding. 

 

The Initiatives section will become the “work plan” for the next four years.  In reviewing the Initiatives section, Margaret stated that the plan includes looking at some kind of private funding.  Margaret is interested, in helping to create a 501-c-3 non-profit foundation to help alleviate the current shift in United Way funding priorities away from senior services.  We need look at the public and private needs for seniors and review how best to meet those needs. This review would include looking at fundraising as a means to meet the needs of seniors. 

 

Margaret described some of the other initiatives listed in the document.  These initiatives include; finding geriatric practitioners that specialize in mental health, disaster response/pandemic planning, outreach to minority groups, Culture Change, and elder rights. 

 

Initiatives that will require some costs beyond staff time include:  working with the low-vision seniors, caregiver support program, oral health issues, information and referral, the new ARCH (Adult Resources for Care & Help) program, and senior transportation. 

 

Lloyd Spawn suggested adding a section on nutrition.  Lloyd moved to accept the 4-year plan as presented with the addition of a nutrition section.  Stan Ulrich seconded the motion.  None objected or abstained. 

 

Joanne Johnsen from Elderhaus thanked the Council for the additional funding to help with their Application Assistance Program. 

SENIOR ADVISORY REPORTS

Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Marjorie McTaggart was not present.

 

Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens commented on how satisfied the board was with the AARP conference.  Earl stated that the board is still trying to set up a conference for the Spring of 2007 with the $1,100 from the previous Caring Conversations conference.  Earl stated that the money will be dispersed if it is not spent soon. 

 

Foundation on Aging

No report given. 

 

Larimer County Commissioner

Karen Wagner reported that the Department of Health & Human Services is still working with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) on transit. 

 

Karen commented that it is prime time to meet with state legislators to get ideas on legislation to help with funding gaps.  This time can be used to educate and advocate for an increase in state funding. 

 

Karen was disappointed that the Criminal Justice ballot issue did not pass.  Earl Stevens stated that he will be writing an article for the 50+ Marketplace News on this issue.  He will be meeting with Commissioner Glen Gibson for information for the article.  The article will help to get more information out to the public about the criminal justice issue. 

 

Human Relations Commission: 

No report given.

 

Commission on Aging: 

No report given.

COUNCIL MEMBER BIOGRAPHY:

Lynette McGowan gave a brief autobiography.

COMMITTEE & STAFF REPORTS

Education Committee

Mary Shultz reported that the committee discussed the Legislative Breakfast, Bridging the Gap Networking Luncheon, and the Job Fair.  The committee also discussed where they want to go with the Speakers Bureau. 

 

Executive Committee

Earl Stevens reported that the committee had a presentation by Mary Robertson from United Way.  The committee expressed their dismay regarding funding cuts to senior programs.  Dr. Roger Bailey reported on a meeting with the City of Fort Collins in regard to Dial-A-Ride cuts.  There have been approximately 55 to 85 clients identified that could lose critical services from Dial-a-Ride with the pending cuts. 

 

Earl reminded the council not to forget the annual Advisory Council Christmas Luncheon.  The luncheon will start at 12:00pm at the Fort Collins Senior Center on December 14th.  Please RSVP to Tina Hugo by November 30th.

 

Health Committee

Nancy Arthur reported that the committee discussed oral health, and Medicare Part D training.   The committee reviewed a PowerPoint presentation on the Flu Pandemic.  The Health Committee is reviewing how they can provide useful information to community members.  Nancy stated that the committee is looking for existing materials so they do not have to “reinvent the wheel”.  The committee will follow up with distributing the Answers on Aging Resource Guides to doctors’ offices.

 

Membership Committee 

No report given.

 

Nutrition Committee

Dr. Roger Bailey stated that the committee is looking at possible funding avenues.  He reported that the Fort Collins MOW was also affected by the United Way funding cuts.

 

Housing Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the committee has grown to include Janet Montera and Rene DeMattei.  Stan stated that Janet agreed to help market the housing surveys.   

 

Transportation Committee

No report given.

 

Staff Reports

Margaret Long stated that Gerry Hinks brother died. 

 

Katy Mason reported that the Medicare Part D program’s open enrollment dates are between November 15th and December 31st.  Katy is concerned because she has heard people say that they believe it will be worse than last year.  Katy commented that it is important to let the public know what local resources are available.   Katy went on to state that the Office on Aging needs help getting the new brochures on Medicare Part D out to local pharmacies.  Katy reported that there have been over 10,000 Answers on Aging Resource Guides distributed. 

 

Tina Barker and Linda Rumney reported that they will continue to help Assisted Living residents and the Office on Aging with Medicare Part D.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Earl Stevens wished all a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Dr. Roger Bailey sent around a petition in support of Dial-a-Ride. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Earl adjourned the meeting at 3:41 p.m.