senior needs assessment

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by visionary, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I've been recently appointed to our town's senior citizen advisory board, which has been revitalized because I've been making a pain of myself. When you are over 65, you're allowed to do that. It all started during a heat wave when I tried to find someone to talk to about opening the senior center so that seniors and others at risk could get some relief. The city contracts out the running of the building, which they own, and the contractor isn't looking for more work--opening up for longer hours.

    Anyway, I'm now on the board and shooting for chair, putting together a needs assessment for seniors in the area. I think lack of information itself and a go-to person (ombudsman) are the biggest needs, along with some others related to health, mental health, social and jobs programs, roommate matchups, etc.

    If you are a senior or have a senior in the family whose needs are not being met, I'd love to know what could be done to improve your/their lives. You can also e-mail me at simplelifestyle101@yahoo.com.

    Thanks,
    Sheila
     
  2. Hears The Water

    Hears The Water Well-Known Member Supporter

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    S.W. MO
    The two things I am seeing with my elderly mother is education and location. Mom had no idea what programs she qualifies for and how to go about getting things done. She is forgetful so she could not remember if she had done what she needed to or not. She also lived outside of the city limits so the meals on wheels would not come out to where she lives even thought the trailer park is for Senior Citizens. So if I where to ask for something that helped her it would be for someone to figure out a way to let the elderly know what services they could take advantage of and what that would mean for them, as well as making sure that the people on the outside edges of towns where able to qualifiy for things too. I wonder how hard it would be within a county to make sure that boundries for each area met rather than left big gaps. Just my two cents worth. Blessings on putting your money where your mouth is! More people need to step up to the plate when they can and when they see a need. Hmmm maybe I should practice what I preach.....
    God bless you and yours
    Debbie
     

  3. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    OMG Hooray for YOU!!! I am so disappointed to see how badly the elderly are neglected by the "system" in this country. Every spare dollar goes to children, children, children and the elderly are left out in the cold to fend for themselves. Funny how people forget that it is the elderly that have given them the wonderful standard of living that they have now. That they fought for our freedom SEVERAL TIMES, built our houses, nursed our ill, paid 30 - 50 years worth of taxes so that we can have roads, schools, and all the other amenities that we enjoy. Everything goes to children, of whom approximately 13 percent will end up in jail! So unfair.

    Anyway, I don't have any suggestions personally other than getting your senior center up and running and maybe establishing a meals on wheels program for the house-bound. You might also try to establish a "do gooder" program where people go around and help with household maintenance (painting, roof repair, etc.,) for folks who cannot do it themselves.

    You're a wonderful person. You just keep making a pain of yourself.

    donsgal
     
  4. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    Massachusetts
    Thanks for your input. I hope I get more. Every town should have an ombudsman for seniors and a senior hotline. It's hard enough for a younger person to figure out the system, but when you can't even remember where you put your bifocals...ha

    We have a program called Befrienders that does help folks in need, but I don't think many know about it. It is the people right in town who get the most benefits, but those on the outskirts seem to fall through the cracks.

    This town (Bozeman-near Big Sky) is getting very upscale and mobile home parks are being bought up and demolished to make room for more million-dollar condos. They just had a big discussion of workforce housing needs, but they are basically wanting to create housing for people making $40,000 to $60,000, which means the police, teachers, and other families they want to import to serve the rich. There was no discussion of people in the "workforce" who make $15,000, and that would include a lot of seniors.

    I'm really going to tick people off when I ask that the senior center, which is closed at 4:30 and not open weekends and holidays, be opened during evenings and weekends, so that the people I have dubbed "WalMart seniors" (the ones who have to work because they get so little Social Security) can access it during their time off. Currently the senior center seems to be a haven for "limousine liberals," folks that talk the talk but don't walk the walk and have nice pensions so that they can spend their days playing pinochle and doing yoga.

    I've been working on a list of needs and in doing so came across some stats on depression and suicide. MT, where I am, is second in suicide, with Wyoming being first. I think the biggest issue that has to be addressed is state of mind and self worth. Men are at highest risk, way out of proportion to women, which isn't surprising, since women tend to reach out and ask for help, whereas men, especially from my era, think they have to be strong and silent. There is a lot of work needed here. Senior center programs also favor women. We have a wood shop, but that's about it for the guys. I'd like to bring in some of the sports shop people to do free fly tieing classes and arrange other male-oriented activities.

    Rant over--for now.
     
  5. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    My yahoo e-mail isn't working for some reason, so please post suggestions here. Thanks.
     
  6. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I thought of something else. LOL

    I absolutely HATE the way that people think that every old person is just waiting to die.

    Pick up a copy of a "senior living" magazine and pick up a children's magazine and look at the difference. Magazines for older people are filled with death, dying, alzheimers, nursing homes, death, death, death. Childrens magazines are filled with learning about the wonders of the world, growing, contributing, becoming a strong, intelligent person.

    What makes everybody think that older people aren't interested in learning about the wonders of the world, growing, contributing and becoming a strong(er) more intelligent person?

    It sounds like your town's senior center has been taken over by lah-de-dahs who are not interested in providing services to the general population, but want it to have a "country club" atomosphere. I'm glad to see that you are wanting to open it up later and on the weekends. It sounds like they have found a champion in you. I wish more people were as willing to get involved and affect change for the better.

    donsgal
     
  7. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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    Got the e-mail - simplelifestyle101@yahoo.com - working again.

    In spite of the very effective facelift that makes her look younger, new House speaker Nancy Pelosi is 66. I'm not taking political sides here, just noting that very few people probably think of her age.
     
  8. visionary

    visionary Well-Known Member

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