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Soldotna hosts senior services listening session

Courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Alaska seniors and their families, caregivers and service providers have a chance today to let the state know about issues affecting older Alaskans.

The Alaska Commission on Aging is holding a rural outreach meeting in Nome, but along with that, there’s a listening session held by teleconference from 10 a.m. to 1:15 pm today to hear from all over the state.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the Soldotna Senior Center is set up as a teleconference site.

“We’ve got a teleconference set up that we’ll hook up in our game room and anybody that wishes to listen in or speak should be able to through that teleconference line. Topics possible to be discussed are along-t support services, senior housing, elder protection, financial security, healthy aging and identifying community strengths and challenges,” said John Walker, director of the senior center.

The commission is looking for public input to help the development of the state’s plan for senior services that will cover fiscal years 2020 through 20203. The state updates the plan every four years and submits it to the U.S. Administration on Community Living, which provides federal funding for a range of senior programs, including senior meals, transportation, in-home support, elder safety and senior vocational training.

An Alaska senior survey and senior provider survey wrapped up earlier this year. Today’s listening session is another way for the commission to gather input.

Walker says it’s not necessary to attend the entire three-ish hours of the teleconference. You can drop in, bend the commission’s ear and get on about your day. He notes, though, the commission does break for lunch from 12 to 12:30 p.m. Conveniently, that’s also when the senior center serves lunch.

“The soup will be out at 11:30 a.m. and then we serve the main line at noon,” Walker said.

For ages 60 and above, the suggested donation for lunch is $5. For guests under 60, it’s $10.

If you’d like to call into the teleconference from home, the number is (800) 315-6338, access code 53250#.

To check out the current Alaska State Plan for Senior Services, visit the Alaska Commission on Aging website.

Jenny Neyman has been the general manager of KDLL since 2017. Before that she was a reporter and the Morning Edition host at KDLL.
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