Elder Affairs Considers Warrant Article for Senior Center Work

The Elder Affairs Committee discussed the need for an expansion of the Senior Center, and is considering a warrant article to fund the renovations.

“Yesterday, we had 35 people in one room for Bone Builders, and in the other room there were 20-plus people for crafts and games,” Vice Chairman Susan Haussler said. “I was with someone who needed assistance, and when we got into the dining room we could not move. There were at least three people with walkers, one person with a wheelchair, and several people with canes. We need to expand to accommodate.”

Town Council Liaison Joe Green recommended committee members speak at the Town’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) meeting and address the project’s designation as a level three priority.

Additionally, Green said the Committee could pursue funding for the expansion by drafting a warrant article for the Town’s 2016 Warrant.

“I could draft something. I would definitely support that and I would present it for you,” Green said.

And if the Town Council doesn’t support the warrant article, it could be passed as a citizen’s petition, Green noted.

Alternate member Tam Siekmann offered to investigate grant opportunities that may be available for the project “so that it isn’t a burden to the taxpayers.

“I think we should look at every option out there,” she said.

In other business at the Tuesday, April 21 meeting:

• The Senior Center Fundraising Committee will hold its spring Craft Fair on June 20. Member Bonnie Ritvo said the group is looking for additional crafters to participate.

“We’re hoping for 40 vendors, and we have 23, now,” she said. Vendors bring their own tables and chairs, and the entry fee is $35 per table.

Ritvo said all the vendors have donated hand-crafted items for a raffle to benefit the Senior Center.

Vendors have until May 1 to register for the fair, and Ritvo said the deadline will likely be extended.

For more information, contact the Senior Center at 432-8554.

• The Committee agreed to organize an informational session to educate members of the community about a law in New Hampshire relative to surrogate health care decision-making by a family member or friend.

HB1434, which went into effect in January, establishes New Hampshire as a “familial state,” meaning when a patient lacks capacity to make health care decisions, their designated agent is automatically a family member, Roberts explained.

The session would include a discussion about having an advance directive in place, which details a person’s wishes related to health care decisions, should they lack capacity to make health care decisions.

Once a date is set for the event, the Committee said they would inform the public by publicizing it in the Town newsletter and local media.

• The Committee discussed offering volunteer services to seniors in need of assistance with routine home maintenance, such as shoveling or minor electrical work around their home.

Chairman Bonnie Roberts said she would like to create a directory of volunteers interested in providing various services to members of the community in need.

Those who are interested in volunteering may contact Roberts by email at BRoberts@homehelpers.cc.

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