Second Senior Living Summit to be held Wed., Sept. 26, at Senior Center

The Senior Living Initiative’s mission is to develop community understanding and support for a clear and shared vision “Build a Pathway of Senior Living and Care in the Chelan Valley.”

CHELAN - “It’s time to report back to the community,” said Mary Murphy, Senior Living Initiative facilitator, “on what has been accomplished with the specific initiatives adopted at the Senior Living Summit held two years ago.”  In that 2016 Summit, attended by over 100 community members, recommendations were made to:

1) Expand services to assist more seniors to live in their homes as long as possible, such as transportation and affordable home care.
2) Build a Campus of Care that offers many services in one location near town, school, hospital, and a walkable environment, maintaining a sense of community and neighborhood.

Those two objectives became the focus for task forces of the Senior Living Initiative.

The task force working on the first objective, the expansion of services in the home, was headed by Kathy Miller. 

Under the umbrella of In Home Services, two programs were brought forward:  Tender Loving Care for Seniors and the Chelan Valley Community Nurse programs.

The second objective, building a Campus of Care, was headed by Amanda Ballou. As CEO of Heritage Heights, she develops and executes strategy, under the direction of the Board of Directors.  Heritage Heights, as local non-profit organization with a 20-year operating history, has undertaken due diligence on investment in this expansion on behalf of the community.   

The upcoming Summit is open to the public. To be held on Wednesday, September 26th, from 5-7 pm at the Chelan Senior Center at 534 E. Trow, the agenda will bring the community up-to-date on the accomplishments of both task forces. The Summit has been underwritten with support from the Community Services Council, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, and Heritage Heights.

Tender Loving Care for Seniors (TLC) was modeled after the successful Guardian Angel program established by our neighbors to the north, in the Methow.  The TLC program was welcomed under the sponsorship of Chelan Valley Hope.  TLC manager Kathy Miller will be joined by coordinator Claudia Swenson in describing the results delivered to seniors in the Chelan Valley.  Funded by a grant from United Healthcare and donations from caring individuals, the TLC program has recruited and trained volunteers and has become an active support to seniors and their families, who deal with the many challenges of aging, and an advocate in raising awareness of the needs of seniors who stay in their homes.

A complimentary but separate Chelan Valley Community Nurse program, developed by Michelle Jerome under the sponsorship of the Lutheran Church, addresses more clinical needs and assessments.  Both programs assist seniors in accessing other resources.  Kathy, Claudia, and Michelle will share their experiences in the Summit.

On the Campus of Care initiative, Heritage Heights has taken leadership.  Funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Heritage Heights’ board of directors selected speaker John Shoesmith, AIA, LEED AP, NACRB, of ShoesmithCox Architects, PLLC, to guide the pre-design process for a Campus of Care. 

Sites were identified and feasibility evaluated.  The Board intends to make a final decision on the site by the end of this year.  The Board, through Amanda, has also reached out to explore potential partnerships with other organizations who have developed similar projects.  Speaker Bryan Ketcham represents Catholic Charities Housing Services out of Yakima, which recently dedicated an affordable housing project in Prosser, consisting of workforce housing combined with independent living.  “We continue to seek out models of success,” said Amanda.

The Senior Living Initiative’s mission is to develop community understanding and support for a clear and shared vision “Build a Pathway of Senior Living and Care in the Chelan Valley.”  This vision is the foundation for a collaboration of community leaders and organizations to plan, find partners and resources, and develop senior living and care options over the next 15 years.  The community as a whole is invited to review the actions that have been taken and to guide the fulfillment of programs to accomplish the vision.

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