Good-bye 2019. Hello 2020.
by Terri Johnson, Community Health Aging Coordinator
We had an incredible 2019. Since July, the HeART Project Coalition worked to connect our older adult population with services and programs, and put a focus on raising awareness of issues related to caregivers and their loved ones. Please read on for the 2019 highlights.
We have purchased 21 senior parking signs and 11 benches. They have been installed in Antigo, with more being installed in the spring in Langlade County and White Lake. Communities and businesses wishing to install senior parking signs or benches should contact me at 715-627-6374.
We established the Senior Wellness Program Planning Group. This group assisted with developing a county-wide fitness program and our online “hub.”
The HeART online “hub” has been built to serve older adults, caregivers and support services, onto www.alcinfo.com and is currently in review. We expect to launch soon – stay tuned!
Between September and December, we served 48 people at our coalition workshops on dementia, respite care, caregiver support, Medicare basics, and Stepping On.
We helped support Senior Center activities that had 50 people attend special lectures, like the History of Antigo, Coping Through Stress with Journaling, and Financial Planning for Veterans.
We established regular balance testing with a partnership with Health In Motion at the Senior Center which has served 13 people thus far, and will be expanded to Elcho and White Lake for 2020.
We promoted technology assistance in “Technology for Seniors” in partnership with CARE TimeBank, 4H Tech Changemakers, and NTC Computer Adventure Series, and we already helped 30 people.
We established on-going fitness classes at the Senior Center which evolved into our new county-wide “flex” program, where we offer SilverSneakers classes by trained fitness instructors in Antigo, Elcho and White Lake.
We supported and promoted CARE TimeBank and helped increase membership by 17. HeART also connected Habitat for Humanity with CARE which resulted in the building of a home accessibility ramp for a community member this winter.
We supported HeART coalition activities through monthly radio spots on Breakfast Club, and regular columns in both the Antigo Times & Shopper and Antigo Daily Journal.
What’s on Tap for 2020
Everything we did in 2019 and MORE! There will be additional senior parking signs and benches; more technology assistance; monthly balance testing in 3 communities; monthly dementia workshops; expansion of our SilverSneakers classes to more locations and communities; and we will continue to grow CARE TimeBank as way for our seniors to engage with our community. We will be installing “PedFlags” – pedestrian flags – at particularly busy intersections to assist people in crossing. Additional programs, such as Safe Driver and CarFit, will also be added throughout the year.
The Senior Wellness Program Planning Group will explore large community events, such as: Being Mortal, a program and panel discussion on how “people can better live with age-related frailty, serious illness, and approaching death”; a Senior Fair for coalition partners with an additional focus on recruitment of respite workers and leaders for community educational programs; a Get on the Bus! event to promote public transportation; and maybe even a themed social dance! If you are interested in helping with any of these events, please contact me at [email protected] or 715-627-6374.