Services geared to seniors are growing

Senior news

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Juneau offers a whole range of services for senior citizens and their families, from hot meals and transportation to respite, personal care and assisted living. As the senior population grows, new service organizations crop up and new types of services become available. Seniors and their family members often find the choices overwhelming and the terminology confusing. Even those who provide the services have difficulty keeping a handle on all the services, what they cost, who is eligible, and who to contact for help.

A free public forum has been planned to help seniors, their loved ones, and service providers learn about the variety of services available in Juneau. The workshop will take place on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Tlingit-Haida Community Council Building located at 3235 Hospital Drive. All persons and organizations which offer services for senior citizens and their families are encouraged to exhibit their program materials and be available to answer questions from the general public.

The event is entitled "Connections for Independent Living: A public forum on Juneau Home and Community-Based Services." The forum will offer: 1) an overview of the types of services available; 2) discussion groups for asking questions about the various services and organizations; 3) exhibits/display tables featuring Juneau's senior service providers, for more detailed information about their services.

At 9 a.m., Jane Demmert, executive director of the Alaska Commission on Aging will open the program with a welcome, overview of the types of services for seniors, and an introduction of three panelists. The first panelist, Jill Sandleben, program director of Southeast Senior Services, will review Juneau's "community-based services," including adult day services, Alzheimer's education and outreach, congregate meals, counseling, employment, financial assistance, information and referral, legal services, senior center activities, senior volunteer programs, support groups and transportation.

The second panelist, Rhonda Befort, Independent Living Services director of Cornerstone Home Health, will review Juneau's "home-based services," including care coordination, home-delivered meals, homemaker and chore services, home health, home modifications, home repair, hospice, personal care, private duty nursing, and respite care.

The third panelist, Kathy Kloster, administrator of St. Ann's Care Center (soon to become Wildflower Court), will discuss Juneau's residential services, including housing for seniors who can live independently, assisted living facilities, as well as facilities which offer 24- hour care. The panel is designed to cover the entire continuum of care to address the needs of all seniors, from the most healthy to those with multiple disabilities. Helping people live in their own homes and communities safely and at their highest level of health and independence is the goal of the service continuum.

The public forum was organized by the Juneau Aging Network, a group of senior citizen advocates and service providers who are committed to improving home- and community-based services in Juneau. Through the event, the Juneau Aging Network hopes that the general public will have a better understanding of available services and how to access them. For further information about the forum, please call 463-6164.

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