IMPAT – Improving Elder Care

elderlyIMPACT (a group of 27 faith congregations around Central Virginia) convened at its yearly 11th Assembly on Community Problems.  It was there that a presentation was given on how the community is joining forces to improve care for seniors, given that the focus of IMPACT last year was enhancing eldercare for 2016.

Peter Thompson, director of the Senior Center addressed the interfaith group discussing future plans it has to joint together to improve services and amenities including: civic and community engagement, housing and transportation, all of which are relevant to the lives of seniors.  Given that the aging issue is known as “the No. 1 demographic issue our commonwealth faces” (as specified by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service).  This sentiment was echoed by Catholic Church of the Incarnation Pete Kashatus, who explained that “last year, we learned that on average, [the cost of elder care services is] one-and-a-half times what the average person over 60 brings home in a year,”

A few months ago the agencies in the community were approached by IMPACT to improve coordination and thus identify the size of the “affordability gap” in order to set up a plan to make senior care services more affordable in the region.

In other news relating to improving the quality of life for seniors, thanks to the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA)., many seniors may soon be able to get a hot meal each day in Minnesota. The building will be at the former Eagle Valley High School ag/shop location and has received a donation of $100,000 from the NJPA toward the $1 million price tag of the project.  Rick Hest, President of Eagle Bend Senior Center pointed out that by providing meals to seniors it gives them a greater chance of being able to “stay healthy and to stay in their homes for as long as possible.”  Ultimately the Hilltop Regional Kitchen will be helping respond to the most basic needs of hundreds of seniors, while at the same time, repurposing a vacant building in the community.  The grand opening is slated for June 1, 2017.