Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

Advisory Council Meeting

March 10, 2011


Held at 2573 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 108

Fort Collins, Colorado  80525


Members Present:

Jay Adams

David Born

Melissa Buckskin


Carolyn Funk

Marcy Greenslit

Judy Jones


Randy Mergler

Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens


Debbie Tellez

Bob Tholl

Stan Ulrich


Sharon Zamora







Members Absent :

Nancy Arthur

Peggy Bowers

Helen Davis


Howard Hay

Ellen Pihlstrom

Bill Prather


Kristina Seth







Staff Present:

Tina Corrigan-Hugo

Ruth Long

Katy Mason


Ed Rutherford

Laura Walker






Guests Present:

Elaine Boni

Rose Luna

Joanne Johnsen


Betty Thornton




Marcy Greenslit called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.


Minutes stand as presented.


Marcy Greenslit reported that the Executive Committee discussed the Special Transit and Elderhaus provider reviews.


Ruth Long reported that the Four Year Plan was sent back by the state with one deficiency.  Ruth had neglected to discuss how the Office on Aging would handle nutrition counseling.  Ruth added the information and resubmitted the plan to the state.  Once the plan is approved, it will be placed on the Office on Aging website.  Ruth stated that the next step is to update the request for proposals (RFP) for services.  The RFP’s will be sent out to potential providers after May 1.  The proposals will be reviewed in the Executive Committee meetings.  The Office on Aging staff is planning an offsite retreat on March 17 to review goals and strategies in the Four Year Plan.  The focus of the retreat will be to develop a course of action for the coming year. 


Ruth announced that she attended her first Commission on Aging (COA) meeting.  The COA is made up of 17 members who are appointed by the Governor.  A Democrat and a Republican are appointed from each congressional district.  The next day she attended the Senior Day at the Capitol and was impressed with the number of people that attended. 


Staff Reports

Ruth gave a report on behalf of Lynette, as she could not attend this meeting.  The Caring for the Caregiver:  Keeping Hope Alive event was very successful with 89 attendees from 24 churches.  Bob Tholl attended and said it was a fabulous conference.  The keynote speaker and breakouts were terrific. 


Ruth stated that Laura Sutherlin is on vacation and wanted to report that she is planning to attend the ARCH summit on March 24 and 25.  This summit will include Options Counseling training.


Katy Mason updated the members on the Senior Tax Work-Off program.  There were 155 applicants and 39 people were turned away.  In 2008, she had 76 applicants and last year there were 163.  More applicants were hired last year because stimulus money was available.  Katy announced that the Community Outreach & Education Committee is attending different congregate meal sites throughout the county.  Some dates were open and Jay Adams volunteered to attend all of them.


Debbie Tellez gave a brief autobiography.


Joanne Johnsen introduced herself and her staff member, Rose Luna, as well as Betty Thornton, who is a dedicated family member that volunteers at Elderhaus.


Joanne started her presentation with some statistics about the long term care system.  Each year in Colorado, residents spend over a billion dollars on long term care, the single highest part of the state budget.  Adult day care is not covered by Medicare.  There are 46,000 adult programs with 270,000 participants in the nation. 


Joanne reported that Elderhaus serves 2,400 participants each year.  Elderhaus has two locations.  The first one located on Shields and Mulberry has been in service for 31 years.  The building space is donated by the American Baptist Church.  Elderhaus provides activities for 22 to 28 people a day and serves breakfast, lunch and snack.  They have five vans to provide transportation for the participants.  Mindset, a facility for the younger disabled, is the second facility at Lemay and Harmony and has been in service for six years.  In cooperation with Foothills Gateway, Elderhaus provides an Occupational Therapy (OT) program which serves 50 people a day.  The OT group has also contracted with EPIC to provide therapeutic swimming.   


Joanne stated that the Office on Aging provides funds for the Medicaid Benefits Helper position and the Health Promotion program.  Joanne thanked the Office on Aging for all their support.


Joanne stated that one of the biggest challenges they face is funding.  She is continually struggling to balance the budget.  The need is growing and the resources are not.  They have a fundraiser event on the 15th day of every month at different restaurants, but a coupon is needed to participate.  Interested diners can go to their website at to get the coupon.    


Adult Day Care is more than just babysitting older adults.  It provides respite to caregivers, who desperately need a break.  Joanne stated that 62% of caregivers die before their loved one does.  Three of Elderhaus’ caregivers committed suicide last year.  Joanne is very active in the community trying to keep caregivers healthy.  Elderhaus provides a counseling group, called Sanity Sessions, on Wednesday mornings for caregivers.  They have peer–to-peer counseling and presentations on available resources. 



Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report (SAB)

No report given.


Loveland Senior Advisory Board (SAB)

Judy Jones reported that the SAB meeting was canceled. 


Foundation on Aging (FOA)

Mary Shultz reported that the FOA Public Relations committee is working on its website.  The Grants committee has a small amount of money to start a transportation pilot project for providing medical transportation. 


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Human Relations Commission (HRC)

Elaine Boni reported on the HRC annual awards banquet.  The commission gives five awards annually.  This year’s breakfast banquet will be on April 29.  Elaine noted that she would like to see the FOA nominated for the organizational award.  Nominations are due on March 31.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Mary Shultz reported that the Committee helped distributed faith-based caregiver event brochures and Special Needs Registry flyers to subsidized housing locations.


Media & Public Relations Committee

Bob Tholl reported that the Committee had two guest speakers:  Tim Dolan, from the Interfaith Council and Deni LaRue, from Larimer County.  A discussion on other avenues for raising public awareness followed their presentations.


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

David Born reported that the Committee discussed Plan Fort Collins and the Blue Book.  The Editor of the Blue Book has been contacted and he will correct the noted mistakes.  The Committee also discussed the Office on Aging’s phone number placement on the Answers on Aging Resource Guide. 


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich is working on having Congressman Cory Gardner give a presentation to this Council.  Marcy stated that Dan Daley from the state Aging & Adult Services office is scheduled to present the program next month. 


Stan reported on bill HB11-045, Dr. Aguilar’s bill that ensures access and affordability of health insurance for all Coloradoans.  John Kefalas is the House sponsor. 


HB11-1248 will change PERA’s board composition which could affect economics in Larimer County.  HB11-1008 was defeated which would have also changed the composition of PERA board. HB11-1248 is a watered-down version of this bill.



Carolyn Funk stated that the AARP driving class is an excellent class.  The Answers on Aging Resource Guides were distributed at the end of the class.



Marcy adjourned the meeting at 2:54 p.m.

Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.