Commission on aging to visit Nome in September

The Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) will conduct a Rural Outreach Meeting in Nome, September 12-15, 2018, for purposes of learning about elder-senior needs in Norton Sound. This meeting will include a visit to Shishmaref to meet with elders/seniors and agencies serving seniors as well as in Nome. In addition to ACoA’s board meeting and agency visits, the focus will be to gather input from seniors and their families, providers, and other public members about what is working well in Nome for older adults and what needs improvement with regards to having access to health care services; home- and community-based services and long-term support services; safe, affordable, and appropriate housing; economic security and other matters of concern to Nome’s older people.

The meeting will include an Elder-Senior Listening Session scheduled for the morning of Thursday, September 13 at the XYZ Senior Center (10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.) in Nome. The ACoA will use the information gathered as part of the needs assessment activities being conducted for developing the Alaska State Plan for Senior Services, FY2020-FY2023. The Commission has already completed Elder-Senior Listening Sessions in Wrangell, Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Fairbanks.

The Senior Survey, another State Plan needs assessment activity being conducted by ACoA, resulted in more than 3,000 surveys received in both paper and online formats. Alaska’s State Senior Plan, a comprehensive four-year plan, fulfills the federal requirement of all states to submit an approved senior plan in order to receive federal funding through the Older Americans Act for non-Medicaid senior programs and services.

The State also uses the State Senior Plan as a guide to provide services for Alaska’s older people. In addition to the needs assessment activities of the State Plan, the Commission will use the input received from elders, their families, providers and other public members to help ACoA better understand and advocate for the needs of older Alaskans living in rural areas.

The Alaska Commission on Aging thanks the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority for providing funding for the Nome rural outreach meeting. The Commission’s last visit to Nome was in 2010.

Denise Daniello is the executive director for the Alaska Commission on Aging.