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home : opinions : opinions June 23, 2017


5/30/2017 12:57:00 PM
Coordinate and extend senior services
By Joann Power


Several weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor about the need to provide a way to coordinate services to senior citizens in Sisters. There were no responding letters about what I wrote. However, many seniors have been responding to me with much agreement about what was proposed. The letter might have been ignored by some, but not by seniors. My opinion is that the entire community owes its interest to the large numbers of senior citizens that support this community with their finances, expertise, and wonderful abilities.

Everyone, and there were many, indicated their disappointment that a resident home with adjoining assisted living and memory-care facilities will not be built here.

May 24 I attended the city council meeting. I did not hear that any concerted effort is being made to have that facility built by anyone anywhere in Sisters. I have a hearing problem, but it seemed that the land that was available for it is being covered with housing. Whether much of it is appropriate or affordable for seniors seems questionable. (See related story, page 6.)

Therefore I am on a mission to engage the leaders in senior services, like Council on Aging, Visiting Angels, Hospice, ministers, transportation services, counselors, nurses, doctors, medical clinics, etc. to make sure that their services are coordinated and made known and available in a comprehensive way to senior citizens in Sisters. They then can stay in their own homes as long as possible. Many prefer to do that.

An example of how a wonderful program of fun and nutrition is not being attended when with more exposure many more seniors would enjoy that social time. It is the Tuesdays' 11:30 a.m. activities and wonderful meal at Sisters Community Church through the Council on Aging. A donation for a $10 meal is at least $3.50. Those who can give more without coercion.

My idea is to have one office with one person there who can interview those living in their own homes to find out what their needs are. That coordinator would then prepare a specific plan for them with all the information to make care happen smoothly and promptly. It could be the mundane, like a hot meal now and then, or a shopping trip to town. Or, at times, involve doctor-directed healthcare given by a professional nurse, so insurance requirements are met for payment.

It is very difficult for people who need help to find what is available. Often it is through Bend or Redmond now. There might be a need for some of the services to expand to Sisters.

Perhaps what is needed soon is a meeting-time set for any community people who want to attend where all needs and services are considered and a recorder there writes down all contacts and what they offer. A complete list of what is already available can be produced, printed, and distributed widely. It would be a starting place for those whose goal is to age in place with care available if needed.









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