The Red River Council on Aging adopted a new Area Plan at their board meeting this week. CoA Director Liz Cannon told the board it is a requirement that every four years the council develop a new plan based upon what people in this area want the council to provide.
Cannon said, “We gave out surveys a couple of months ago and then compiled the data. The five things people want in the parish is our goal for the next four years.” Top priority in the survey results were Access Services. Cannon said, “There is a need to increase access to many health and social services for our senior population. The council will continue and expand on this through education and outreach through a variety of methods.”
Second was housekeeping service. Cannon explained, “There is a need among the target population to have housekeeping service provided to promote a healthy living environment and help keep seniors in their homes within the community for as long as possible. The council will continue to provide and expand on this service.” Cannon said there is a waiting list for housekeeping mainly in the Martin and Hall Summit areas.
Third and forth on the list were meals. Cannon said, “Congregate meals is not a new program, but a highly needed one. It provides healthy meals and socialization for many senior participants. Home delivered meals has a major impact on homebound seniors being able to live independently in their homes.”
Fifth on the list was fall prevention and evidence based wellness. Cannon said there is a doctor who comes once a month to work with seniors. “We plan to continue to provide this service,” said Cannon.
Cannon explained to the board the plan covers the fiscal years beginning July 1st, 2019 and running through June 30th, 2023. All services provided by the council will be put out for bids early next year. Cannon said, “Most councils contract for their services including meals. We provide our own. The guidelines require this but there have been no providers in this area ever able to do these things as inexpensively as we do.” The only service Red River contracts for is legal services and those are handled through the Northwest Louisiana Legal Council.
The Board of Directors approved the new Area Plan.