As many of my readers know, I’ve been writing about senior issues for many years. It began with general real estate and SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) topics and has expanded since that time. I write about universal design, aging in place, technology for seniors, handling transition, downsizing and other senior issues.
So, I am concerned about seniors. I’m aware of many of the issues that impact them and I’m an advocate for seniors. I plan to continue to advocate, educate, and inform well into my own senior years. I also encourage others to get involved. I help celebrate successes for this segment of the population — locally and beyond.
Recently my support of seniors “hit home” with our local Danville-Boyle County senior citizens center, a center that an outside organization recently tried to take over… unsuccessfully, thank goodness. If they had succeeded, our local seniors would be facing a dire situation — instead of being cared for by our local center, as they always have been. Let me explain why.
Despite the fact that the Bluegrass Area Development District (BGADD) sent out a letter to local seniors saying a “new” facility would be in operation on July 1st, as required when Bluegrass Community Action Partnership (BGCAP) applied for funding from Bluegrass ADD originally, that facility is apparently not going to arrive on time.
I’ve been by the supposed new address, personally, and it’s empty. It’s not under construction, mind you, it’s not just awaiting seniors — it’s a stripped down, dirty, dusty-looking facility. And there are only two days left before July 1st. Having been involved in a few construction projects over the years, including building my little cabin in the woods, I’m confident that there is no possible way this facility will be ready to accept seniors in two days.
It is my understanding that part of receiving the funding was having a local facility with which to take care of seniors. I’m not sure how they can justify taking those funds if they aren’t providing the local services for our local seniors that they promised — but I’m anxious to see how they try to justify this one. They seem to be so good at “explaining” away the facts.
The Letters They Sent
A concerned senior citizen gave me a copy of the letter she received. The letter, to me, seems to purposefully mislead the reader into believing that the current center is moving, which it is NOT. It also also indicates that the senior center has undergone a name change — which it has not. Aside from these identity redirects, it tells seniors to go to that empty, dusty, unfinished building, beginning Wednesday, July 1st.
Read a copy of the generic, impersonal, and unsigned letter here. I think that when you are dealing with uncertainties and the senior population (or any other population, for that matter), that a personalized approach is best, but that’s just me. I find it particularly delightful that the contact information on this letter is so difficult to read. That’s a nice touch for our seniors, don’t you think?
Caring for Local Boyle County Senior Citizens
Thankfully, the local Danville-Boyle County Senior Citizens, Inc., continues to care for our local seniors on a local level. They are still providing services to their congregate group, to adult daycare clients, and are still providing the activities, educational programs, onsite meals, transportation to and from the center, and transportation services to doctors appointments, grocery stores and other essential services — as they always have.
I’m proud that our local County and City governments made the decision to fund our local center to help provide services — essential services — to our local senior citizens. I’m proud of the fundraising efforts and awareness efforts our local center continues to develop to make up the difference in the lost funds — federal and state funds that were sent to an organization that promised to care for our local seniors, but can’t even seem to get a location to try to do those things.
Why Local Matters
I’m glad this community decided to “Be Vocal to Stay Local.” If we hadn’t — where would our seniors be in 48 hours? Because we were, our seniors have a place to be, an organization upon which they can continue to depend — as they have for the past 38+ years — and the support of the local governments and citizens.
Senior issues aren’t a “quick fix” proposition. They require understanding, dedication, and the ability to work over the “long haul.” Organizations from outside our community have no way of knowing the intricacies and the layers of need for seniors because that requires people who know our seniors as individuals, not as numbers or “cases.”
It will be interesting to see how this particular “outside” organization tries to justify their lack of a local facility for our local seniors. It’s usually high theater with these outsiders, so someone pass me the popcorn…