City tries to save Commission on the Aging

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The City and Borough of Juneau appealed to the public Monday to help a valuable resource.

    30 people attended a town hall meeting Monday afternoon to discuss whether there is enough interest in the community to keep the Juneau Commission on Aging going.  The commission had seen a decline in members and not enough participation to hold meetings.

    The Assembly discussed the issue and approved an ordinance that would allow people under 65 to serve on the commission.  The new commission would have a majority, five members age 65 or older, and four of any age.

    Assembly Member Loren Jones said there are a lot of issues that seniors care about that include meals, transportation, medical services, and housing, "Medical care at the hospital, doctor's care, rehab for people coming out of the hospital and getting to appointments, hospice and in home care, those issues are certainly on seniors' minds.  They would like to stay here and their families would like them to stay.   They are trying to find ways to stay like downsizing their homes, and getting help.  Families are struggling to find care for their loved ones while they hold a job."

    Housing options, skilled healthcare workers and staff, more in home care options, access to senior services and programs, and programs
    to promote senior volunteers are among the goals the city has for the commission.

    The city would like to have applicants for the commission as soon as possible.  The Human Resources Committee is scheduled to meet November 6 and start appointing people to the commission.   City Administration promised to provide some staff assistance for agendas, minutes and keeping the group focused.

    The Juneau Economic Development Council said seniors are a positive impact on our economy.  "Our goal is to have them retire comfortably and affordably in Juneau," Executive Director Brian Holst said.

    The city warns that if there are not enough people to fill the commission seats, they could vote to disband the commission in December.

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