Loveland Bike Trail
 

OFFICE ON AGING ADVISORY COUNCIL

 

March 10, 2005

1:30-3:30 PM

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Room 135B

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

 

Members Present:

Reggie Kemp

Olivia Larry

Elnora McCloughan

 

Barbara Nuss

Carol Rehme

Karen Reinhardt

 

Mary Shultz

Lloyd Spawn

Earl Stevens

 

Stan Ulrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members Absent

Paul Bell

Bill Benton

Steve Budner

 

Carolyn Funk

Gerry Hinks

Ray Martinez

 

Thomas Nix

Ken Tharp

Hal Wilson

 

 

 

 

Staff Present:

Ruth Coberly

Tina Hugo

Margaret Long

 

Katy Mason

Lynette McGowan

 

 

 

 

 

Guests Present:

Nancy Arthur

Gary Thurman

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mary Shultz called the meeting to order.

INTRODUCTIONS

Mary Shultz welcomed Gary Thurman, Adult Protection Manager for the Department of Human Services and acknowledged Nancy Arthur, Service Coordinator for Oakbrook II.  

OPEN DISCUSSION/COMMUNITY INPUT

There was no open discussion or community input.

ADJUSTMENTS, THEN MOTION TO ACCEPT MINUTES OF January 13, 2005 and February 10, 2005

There was not a quorum for a motion.

CHAIR REPORT

Mary Shultz reported that she delivered the Legislative Breakfast packet to Angela Pacciones and will deliver one to Bob Bacon. 

 

Mary mentioned that there were two news articles of interest in the Coloradoan.  One on February 23rd regarding two new housing projects, and the other on February 28th that had a quote from Steve Budner.

 

Mary noted that she had attended the Elderhaus Open House on March 9th

 

Mary announced that Earl Stevens has some serious news; his daughter-in-law is ill and she passed around a card for the council members to sign. 

 

Mary announced that the Bridging the Gap committee will meet on March 16th at noon at the Fort Collins Senior Center.  Mary reminded the council that Senior Day at the Capital is March 16th and AARP is sponsoring a 54-seat bus for a $3.00 fee, not including lunch.   Mary announced that there will be a dental meeting at 1501 Blue Spruce on April 12th at 1:30.  Mary reminded the council that the next Advisory Council meeting will be at the Harmony Library.

BIOGRAPHY

Olivia Larry gave a brief biography of herself.

PROVIDER PRESENTATION – Adult Protection Services (APS)

Gary Thurman, Manager of Adult Protection Services distributed a state approved brochure for Adult Protection.  Gary discussed how Adult Protection was created in regards to state statue, which defines the “at risk” adult as over 18, or elderly (over 60).  In general, the elderly or disabled are at risk for being exploited, abused or neglected.  Gary stated that APS’s responsibility begins when the county receives a referral.  When a referral is received, the first step is to review the case to make sure that there are allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  If assigned for investigation, the APS caseworker will make face to face contact with the person to substantiate the neglect, abuse or exploitation.  If the APS caseworker finds criminal intent, the caseworker will then contact law enforcement.  Gary went on to explain that APS refers clients to available resources that are able to assist them with their needs.  Once the APS caseworker has assessed the individual, they will develop a case plan and keep the case open until the risk is reduced.  APS’s main responsibly is to investigate reports, check on “at risk” adults and advocate for them.  APS is not mandated to take on guardianships or payeeships.  APS’s directive is to intervene using the least restrictive measures.  These objectives are met through face to face interventions which help to identify needs.  Gary explained that the highest level of intervention is guardianships which are generally used as the last resort for at-risk adults that are no longer able to make appropriate decisions.  Another legal intervention is a payeeship for Social Security benefits when the client is unable to take care of their finances, self-neglect, or when the client is being financially exploited by family members or care providers.    

 

Gary noted that there are roughly 30,000 elderly people in Larimer County, and another 36,000 younger persons fall into the mentally ill category.  APS does not have the authority for involuntary hospitalization, but does refer people to Mental Health or law enforcement when warranted.  Currently, APS is designated to have a staff of four caseworkers, and receives approximately 55 to 60 referrals a month and usually keep 160-180 cases open.  Although APS is not mandated to do payeeship and guardianships, they will when there are no other available options.  APS currently has about 21 payeeships and 23 guardianships in Larimer County.  

 

Gary applauded Larimer County for being pro-active with the Adult Protection program.  Larimer County has the longest running Adult Protection Team (inter-agency team) which was founded in 1979.  Gary started working in Adult Protection in 1993 and has been managing the department for the last three years.  In general, Gary explained that there is a lot of confusion in the public regarding the role of APS.  Gary gave an example of a 45 year old male who is a severe alcoholic; he works, but becomes a problem in the community.  Law enforcement and other agencies try to get APS to take a role in taking care of these problems.  Gary feels that there is community pressure to work with clients who are deemed a public nuisance or are simply mentally ill.  APS’s role is with victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation and who are unable to advocate for themselves.  Gary described that 14-15% of APS cases involve financial exploitation.  For those cases, APS will get law enforcement or attorneys involved when appropriate.  APS can sometimes help nursing homes with residents that may have been financially exploited by family members.  Gary informed the council that the majority of their cases involve self-neglect which encompasses approximately 50-56% of their case load. 

 

Gary reported that the APS caseworkers are informed, and understand program guidelines and availability, and know how to advocate for their clients.  If the client has decisional capacity, they have the right to accept or decline services.  Caseworkers engage the client by using skills in interviewing techniques and conversation, and present themselves as helpers and are not there to intimidate.  APS caseworkers are also skilled in building trust and confidence.  The caseworker can sometimes assess decisional capacity using a set of questions while interviewing clients.  These questions include client orientation of time and place and also help determine dementia.  APS is limited by statue in what they can and can’t do; this includes issues like medical self-determination. 

UPDATE OF OFFICE ON AGING

Update on State Funding

Margaret Long reported the state budget draft by the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) increased the Older Coloradoan’s fund from 1.5 to 2 million dollars, because of last year’s legislation.  Then the JBC turned around and decreased the General Fund by ½ million.  If the state funding holds, it will be the same for the upcoming State Fiscal Year.  Margaret mentioned that there are people rallying to get the General Fund increased. 

 

Margaret is concerned that Congress may go with the recommendation for the Federal funding which will freeze domestic programs.  This means a long period of flat funding or decreased funding.  Margaret stated that the Federal money for Larimer County has increased by $10,000 from the original grant notice.  This change has to do with a multifaceted formula which redistributes funds between AAA and the state.  Total Federal dollars to Colorado were not increased.  Margaret stated that she will be working with Stacy Hougard on the final One-Year Plan and will present it to the Advisory Council in April for consideration and approval.

 

Update on State Policies

Margaret Long commented that the State is halfway through the audit recommendations.  Margaret distributed the Conflict of Interest Memorandum #05-04, which is covered in the Council by-laws.  Margaret discussed the policy creation for the background checks.  She said that the latest draft will be discussed at the PAC meeting on Monday, March 21st.  Margaret reinforced that the potentially biggest hit will be to contracts with SAINT and Loveland Meals-On-Wheels.  The Home Health Agencies are already completing background checks on their employees.  Margaret also discussed the in-take forms upgrade at the congregate meal sites that will launch next month; these include a nutrition checklist and added questions regarding ability to perform activities of daily living.  The premise behind this change is that people will only have to complete the information once.  Margaret suggested that this is putting the burden on VOA and may not really improve service delivery for clients.  She plans to monitor this.

COMMITTEE & STAFF REPORTS

Education Committee

No report was given. 

 

Executive Committee

Mary Shultz reported that Lloyd Spawn suggested that the council members write encouraging letters to newspapers when there are articles regarding seniors. 

 

Health Committee

No report was given. 

 

Membership Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that Ken Tharp will not extend his term on the board and there are currently three vacancies.  Stan confirmed that at the next membership committee meeting they will select a slate of officers.

 

Nutrition Committee

No report was given. 

 

Senior Attainable Housing Committee

Stan Ulrich report that during the last meeting, the questionnaire to determine elderly housing needs was approved.  Stan commented that the phone interviews started Monday, March 7th.  Telephone calls were made to the officials at the housing authorities, subsidized housing, and other housing complexes.  The questionnaire asks about waiting lists and other pertinent information. 

 

Barbara Nuss commented that the Marisol complex has been approved by the Loveland City Council.  This complex is located at Madison and 4th Street SE.  The HUD complex located at 43rd & Wilson has already been approved.

 

Transportation Committee

Karen Reinhardt reported that the draft proposal by Susan O’Neil, consultant for North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO), suggests having all the county funds that are for rural transportation be handled by the county rather than NFRMPO.

 

Staff Reports

Katy Mason reported on the results of the Senior Tax Work Off program.  She stated that she received a total of 86 applicants and was able to place 56 of them.  Katy reiterated that the budget is $20,000 for 3,000 hours of work.  Each applicant accepted will be paid $6 an hour for up to $350 for a reduction in their tax bill.  Katy thanked Karen Reinhardt for her help with the registrations. 

 

Katy distributed information on AARP and the League of Women Voters regarding the fiscal crisis in the State of Colorado.  There will be a meeting at the Fort Collins Senior Center on March 17th at 9:45 – 11:15 a.m. 

 

Lynette McGowan reported on the White House Conference on Aging scheduled for June in Denver.  She stated that this is a special project which will require the coordination of focus groups.  These focus groups will discuss various senior issues.  Lynette distributed a flyer describing what the focus groups should look like.  Lynette asked the Advisory Council if she could facilitate the first group to be included during the next Advisory Council meeting on April 14th.  This meeting may go until 4:00 p.m. instead of 3:30.  From that meeting, Lynette will ask for some volunteers to facilitate other focus groups during the first two weeks in April and May.  This task will need to be completed by June 1st.  The Governor will choose 12 delegates from Colorado to present the issues at the White House Conference in Washington DC.  Lynette suggested that focus groups be created around the congregate meal sites in Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park, Berthoud and Wellington. Lynette will contact the Loveland and Fort Collins Advisory Boards to be included in the process.

 

Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board

No report was given.

 

Loveland Senior Advisory Board

No report was given.

Barbara Nuss reminded the council that there will be a pancake breakfast and plant sale on April 16th, the cost is $3.50 per adult and $2.50 per child.

 

Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz reported that the Foundation met March 9th and came up with some ideas to pursue. 

 

Announcements

Stan Ulrich reminded the council that there are still tickets available for the Senior Day at the Capital on March - 16th.

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.