Alpine seniors know their needs |

Alpine seniors know their needs

by Regina Purcell, Staff Writer

Helping Alpine County seniors get a permanent center and assisting with wellness, services and chores are priorities discussed Wednesday.

Sixty residents attended a luncheon at Turtle Rock Park hosted by Area 12 on Aging. Peggy Lee is executive director of the agency that serves Alpine, Mariposa, Amador, Calavaras, and Tuolumne counties.

The Agency on Aging serves 10,000 seniors and receives its funding from state and federal sources. It assists with transportation, medical, nutrition, education, employment, personal and social services.

Started in 1987, the agency assists county residents over 60 and case management for disable dpersons from 18 to 59-years-old.

Lee told attendees Wednesday the agency could assist with renting a new senior center, something desperately needed in Alpine County, according to Jim Clark, who heads the area senior’s group. Lee said available space at the newly opened Alpine Learning Center would be a model location.

An open house will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 22, at the center, according to Jim Parsons, superintendent of the Alpine Department of Education that purchased the $1.2 million complex. (See related story on this page.)

“I am really for it,” Clark said. “With support … I think it would be a real success. We could have a (permanent) space with a TV, some games and do things together.”

Other suggestions, to be considered during funding for next year from the agency, included:

n Transportation services. Alpine County already has an agreement with Douglas County for use of the DART.

n Assistance with chores, such as raking, hauling debris, changing light bulbs.

n Assistance with fuel in the winter.

n Organized exercise classes, such as yoga or Tai Chi.

n Socialization, such as field trips.

n Monthly health services, such as blood pressure screening.

n A Health Buddy program that partners people to daily check on area seniors.

n Respite care to provide breaks to caregivers.

Lee said the Area 12 on Aging will come back to Alpine in a few months with a strategic plan on meeting those priorities.

The agency took a survey from attendees to learn more about them and the issues they face.

County representatives also made presentations Wednesday, including Probation Officer Doug Rublaitus and Larry Bodiford representing Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program., who spoke about changes to the Medicare system.

n Regina Purcell can be reached at

or (775) 782-5121, ext. 211.