Senior news

Posted: Friday, June 08, 2001

Gloria Chase is the Senior Program Coordinator for Tlingit and Haida Central Council. Elders age 65 and over who are enrolled members of Tlingit and Haida are invited to call her at 463-7168 or to pay a visit to her office. Gloria's office is in the Cropley House (the little brown house) next to the ANB Hall on Willoughby.

"Every day, elders call me about different things," Gloria says. Her goal is to help elders stay healthy and to get the support they need. Regardless of the need, "we always find ways to help somebody; we're creative," she explains. Gloria helps elders apply for programs, including financial emergency assistance, public assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, social security and energy assistance. She makes telephone calls on elders' behalf, setting up appointments and serving as an advocate. She also assists with correspondence and makes Tlingit translation available to those elders who need it.

Gloria is a grandma herself and has behind her a lifetime of personal and professional experiences which make her uniquely qualified for the job. Originally from Anvik, she came to Juneau in 1990 and served as a social worker for Tlingit & Haida for nine years. Last October, she was offered the position of Senior Program Coordinator.

Gloria finds great meaning in connecting elders with the services available in our community. She explains, "It makes your life easier when you know about all the services available." She knows that many of our older citizens are isolated and she welcomes them with open arms, never turning anyone away. "The elders want to socialize, enjoy Native food and just get together."

A new additon to the elderly services program is fitness opportunities. In conjunction with the SEARHC Health Promotion Department, a chair fitness class is offered every Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Cropley House. The class is free of charge and transportation is provided.

For more information about services offered by the Tlingit & Haida Senior program, call 463-7168.

Marianne Mills oversees senior citizen nutrition and transportation programs in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka as a staff member of Southeast Senior Services, a program of Catholic Community Service. CCS assists all persons, regardless of their faith.

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