ELDER AFFAIRS COMMITTEE Membership
Dukes County Health Council
Elderly Affairs Committee
Current Members: Diane Jetmund
The Elder Affairs Committee was established in ~2003 by the DCHC to address the need in our community to “bring people and services together” for our elder population. We were originally known as the “Geriatric Access Committee” and have worked in a number of venues to advance this mission.
1) Coordinating a public forum to introduce Commonwealth services to elders and their caregivers.
2 ) Expanding the Lighthouse Resource Locator on CC to include MV services – now part of the 211 program
3) Promoting and fostering educational opportunities for providers regarding elders. Recently this effort has lead to our association with RIGEC.
4) Developing a pocket guide listing elder services for professional reference.
5) In a cooperative effort with the MV Library Association we have produced a Caregivers’ Guide.
The latter two have undergone several revisions, updating and printings.
Our challenge going forward is to establish long and short-term goals to advance our mission. We believe the committee has a role to play in identifying areas of service that are lacking for elders, to assess access to services, and to promote the coordination of available services for elders. We believe this committee could act as a public advocate for needed services and advance efforts to coordinate services offered by existing organizations. We foresee the possibility of working with others to make our previous publications available to the public in electronic form. This should allow the Elder Affairs Committee with the help of technological assistance to regularly review, update and disseminate information that will bring people and services together.
Realizing these goals will take a committed group of individuals as well as funding. Currently our membership is in flux and we are not receiving any grant funding. Maintaining and sustaining our previously created guides alone is a significant task. Without funds and resources and without a critical mass of members it will be difficult to commit to any significant projects at this point. We have agreed to help with MA in Motion as needed in their efforts directed towards elders.
The Elder Affairs committee has been meeting on the third Wed. of the month at 7:30 AM at the hospital but holds no summer meetings. When the new membership of the committee is established next fall, the time/place may change as well.