Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

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County Offices are also closed on Friday, November 27 while the Courts, District Attorney, Landfill, Household Hazardous Waste, and Recycle Center are open. Critical services at Larimer County will not be disrupted by this closure.


Advisory Council Meeting

April 8, 2010


Held at 2573 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 108

Fort Collins, Colorado  80525


Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

David Born

Peggy Bowers


Cassie Castleberry

Helen Davis

Valerie DiBenedetto


Manfred Diehl

Tim Dolan

Carolyn Funk


Marcy Greenslit

Ellen Pihlstrom

Earl Stevens


Stan Ulrich







Members Absent :

Caryll Cram

Howard Hay

Judy Jones


Bill Prather

Gail Reader

Mary Shultz


Sharon Zamora







Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Tina Corrigan-Hugo

Margaret Long


Katy Mason

Lynette McGowan

Linda Rumney





Guests Present:

Sarah Barker




Marcy Greenslit called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.


No introductions were made.


Earl Stevens suggested two minor changes.  Page 2, third paragraph, third sentence should have a dash added between needs-assessment.  Page 4, the last line under the Planning, Funding & Partnership Committee, the "and" should be changed to “to”.  The minutes will stand as corrected.


Marcy Greenslit stated that United Way 211 is proposing to provide 24/7 service to all of Colorado.  Marcy reported that we will vote on the slate of officers at the June meeting.  If anyone is interested in running for office, they should contact an Executive Committee member.  Marcy also stated that we need new members.  Please encourage people to apply.  Interviews will be in May or June.  New appointments start July 1.


Margaret Long reported that she received an estimate on next year’s federal funding.  It looks as if we will have a $34,000 increase.  The Office on Aging should be able to renew all the direct service contracts and maintain staffing.  Margaret is not sure about continuing the Berthoud Area Transportation Service (BATS) contract.  This contract was funded because we had extra money, but now we don’t. 


Margaret informed the Council about some changes at the state office.  Jeannette Hensley, head of the State Unit on Aging will be retiring at the end of this month.  Margaret doesn’t know who her replacement will be, but she is hoping that it will be someone with strong skills. 


Staff Reports

Tina Barker reported that this is Sarah Barker’s last meeting because she is finishing up her internship in May.


Lynette McGowan reported on Family Connections operated by the Elder Care Network.  A few years ago, Marilyn Brown met with some family caregivers and started Caregiver Conversations.  She did this because she was caring for her parents and was at a loss on how to do it well.  This group is limited to 4-6 people and is scheduled in different geographic locations to make it easier for people to attend for two meetings.  At the meetings, Marilyn starts the conversation with, “You know in our society, we honor health and we are here to honor you.”  The first conversation is about an hour and 30 minutes and this allows enough time for the caregivers to talk about their experiences.  There is usually an immediate connection and camaraderie.  A person also takes notes.  At the next meeting, Lynette comes prepared to “zero in” on the subjects that had come up in the first conversation.  If people are still interested they can set up a third meeting with an experienced caregiver. 


Katy Mason distributed an article from the North Forty News about Barb Tuttle, a former Advisory Council member.  It is a very nice article about Barb growing up in LaPorte.  Katy added that she and Laura attended the National Conference on Aging in Chicago.  It was a very good conference with about 3,500 people in attendance.  Ken Dychtwald talked about the aging demographics which will change our society, and we need to be prepared.  We are not.  He said two out of three persons who have ever lived past 65 are alive today.  We’ve never experienced this before and don’t know how to handle it. 


Stan Ulrich gave an awesome autobiography that included really good pies.

OFFICE ON AGING PARTNER PRESENTATION:  Ombudsman Program, Tina Barker and Linda Rumney

The Ombudsman Program is a direct service of the Office on Aging.  The word, ombudsman, comes from a Swedish term “representative of the people”.  Tina and Linda refer to themselves as trained experienced advocates because people generally have a hard time with the word ombudsman


Truly, Tina and Linda wear many different hats in their roles as ombudsmen.  They provide resources and education to the community, facility employees and families about resident rights.  They are required to investigate complaints, be a problem solver, a mediator, a facilitator and a visitor.  As a visitor, they get to hear residents’ stories, the best part of their jobs.


The ombudsmen are federally mandated to visit all nursing homes every month and every assisted living facility once a quarter.  There are currently 13 nursing homes and 29 assisted living facilities with one transitional care unit at McKee Medical Center.  In 2010, two more assisted living facilities will be built.  One will have a 40-bed memory-care unit.  Hillcrest in Loveland is expanding its independent living to include 31 beds before the year is over.  Tina and Linda are responsible for all these facilities and have only five certified volunteers to help them.  Volunteers take on a big part of the program.  Usually each volunteer will have two facilities to visit and can investigate complaints if they feel comfortable.  Tina noted that Helen Davis and Marcy Greenslit are currently volunteering for the program.  Tina and Linda are looking for more volunteers.  If you are interested or know someone who is, please call Linda at 498-7753 or Tina at 498-7754.


Tina and Linda discussed several cases to give the Council a better idea of the variety of issues they encounter.



Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

No report given.


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that a senior civil engineer from Loveland presented information on pedestrian and bike paths.  Earl announced that the Bridging the Gap Senior Networking Event will be on Wednesday, September 22 at the Fountains of Loveland.  The cost is $18.  The SAB also reviewed their 2010 goals.


Foundation on Aging

No report given.


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Human Relations Commission 

No report given.


Commission on Aging

No report given.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Nancy Arthur reported that the Committee received information from the Office of the Attorney General regarding a mail fraud sweep event this summer with AARP Elder Watch.  The Committee felt it would be overwhelming to conduct this event over all of Larimer County and decided to conduct it as a pilot project and to concentrate on three residential communities: Oakbrook I, Oakbrook II and The Sanctuary.  The Office of the Attorney General will provide materials and we will collect the mailings. 


Media & Public Relations Committee

Marcy Greenslit reported that Tim Dolan plans to resign from the Council because he may serve on the Interfaith Council.  We received approval for writing a monthly column for the Coloradoan.  Margaret has contracted with Kay Rios to do the writing for us.  The first article should be in May.


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

Valerie DiBenedetto reported that after Mary Warring’s presentation there are still major questions about transportation for older adults.  The Committee would like Gary Thomas to come to our Council meeting in June to discuss transportation in general.  The Committee will be meeting with Joe Frank, a city planner, to discuss designing an aging-friendly community. 


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

Marcy Greenslit stated that the Colorado Fiscal Forum was very educational.  Stan Ulrich reported that the Committee finished the housing survey and will decide what to do with the information at the next meeting. 



Marcy announced that since Cassie is moving to California next month, there are some special cupcakes for her and presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her three years of service.


Helen Davis announced that the Conference on Aging will be on April 28 at the Ranch from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The conference will be on elder exploitation. 



Marcy adjourned the meeting at 3:29 p.m.



Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.