Aging and Long-term Care Issues

Olympic Area Agency on Aging

Senior Information & Assistance

Last time out, we mentioned an upcoming Community Forum in the PUD Conference Room on Sandridge Road, Long Beach, on June 19, from 10 a.m. to noon.

It may be more accurately described as an "Senior" Community Forum in that the areas discussed will be focused on aging & long-term care needs - specifically in our area. And least it be seen as another "community" meeting where a bunch of people from out of town tell you what's needed and what's not being done, let's take some time to describe the hoped-for dynamics of the meeting.

As mentioned previously, these forums are designed to allow the Triple A's (Area Agencies on Aging) to receive input from the community - that's you. We want to know what we're missing and though can't promise a solution to all things, we can promise efforts toward an area plan designed to meet local needs as much as we are able.

A recent aging newsletter ran an anonymous quote: "You have done so much with so little for so long that I'd now like you to move on to doing everything with nothing." Our mutual hope is that this does not become the Washington State pledge to seniors! I have seen so many do so much with so little that I hope that through such forums we can change the "little" to at least a little more.

The Community Forum format should include a brief introduction to who we are and what we hope to gain (information!) from the community. The rest of the time is open for you to let us know where the holes are in meeting the needs of our senior population.

The information will then be applied toward an Area Agency Plan. The plan is our effort to access as many resources as possible and coordinate them into direct services to meet the needs. As mentioned earlier, we can't promise a solution to everything, but given the present atmosphere of budget cuts, decreasing services, etc., any forward motion would be great!

Unfortunately, some service plans for an area are done by relying on statistics, trends, last year's information and only token input from the communities affected. The result is a plan that makes us ask ourselves "Are they talking about our community?!"

Another unfortunate scenario is the "Let's-just-keep-doing-what-we've-always-done-and-maybe-nobody-will-notice" approach. We hope to avoid this - which means a lot of the responsibility falls on you - the actual community. We need your information! Let's see if we can talk about real stuff - and hopefully make things a little easier for our seniors.

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