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On Wednesday July 13, Darlene Supplee with the North Star Council on Aging (NSCoA) and the Aging and Disability Resource Center North(ADRC North) facilitated the third in a series of six monthly meetings aimed at creating a plan to coordinate local volunteer efforts and resources to help our elder population.

It was stressed that this is a community effort, and it will take people from all areas of the community to get involved. If Delta residents want a community that takes care of its own people, then people need to participate to create that. Any local resident who has a passion for anything from building a wheelchair ramp to lobbying lawmakers is very welcome to attend these meetings and contribute to the process. Or make contact through the email address listed below.

Supplee helped the group identify four areas in which community volunteers could use their individual strengths to create a stronger net of community care for elders. The four areas of need identified are:

  • Legislative tasks, which involves advocating for resources and programs with lawmakers.
  • Homemaker help, which is aiding seniors by doing basic housekeeping when they are unable.
  • Home modification projects, including such things as putting in bathroom handrails or creating a wheelchair ramp.
  • Personal care, respite, and end-of-life care where volunteers with patience and good hearts are needed.

At the next meeting, attendees will form four corresponding committees to generate solutions to meet the various needs identified. Supplee suggested that using this strategy will focus individual volunteer energy on the specific area they are most interested in being involved with.

The topic of local transportation assistance was also given an update. Supplee has recently applied for a state grant to fund transportation costs for the next year. This money is for the program that utilizes local volunteers using the van that was purchased for the community two years ago. Supplee is also working with volunteers to create policy for scheduling rides and coordinating drivers.

The van is currently being used on a limited basis. Volunteers and program users are urged to be patient and understand that there will be changes made as the program evolves. If you have suggestions to help make this transportation program function better, you are encouraged to share your ideas, either at the next meeting, or through the ADRC office. The local ADRC contact is Deborah Snyder at 907-987-2976 or delta.adrcnorth@acsalaska.net.

The Delta Clearwater Seniors offered to maintain a list of individuals who are willing to offer volunteer help and be kept informed of news that will affect the services being offered.

Anyone interested can ask to be added to the list. Send your name and area of particular interest to dcseniors@hushmail.com, or stop by the Senior Center between 10:30 and 1:00 Monday through Friday.

The next meeting in the series will be held Wednesday, August 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Community Center (next to the library). Any community member who has concerns about seniors or a desire to contribute to this effort is welcome to attend.