Aging & Disability Commission - Minutes

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, October 15, 2019



OCTOBER 15, 2019



The regular meeting of the Aging and Disability Commission was held at 7:00 p.m. on October 15, 2019, in the Youth Room, Eno Memorial Hall, Simsbury.



Jan Beatty, Victor Bible, Sandee Fleet, Mike Jennings, Shannon Knall, Marvin Koff, Edward LaMontagne, Jean Miles, Mark Orenstein, Kate Robbins, Diana Yeisley, Arlene Zappile, Kathleen Marschall (Senior Center Coordinator), and Cheryl Cook (Board of Selectman Liaison)



Lorraine Doonan, Anne Erickson, Susan Krinski, Susan Ray (Library)



The meeting was called to order by Edward LaMontagne, Chairman, at 7:02 p.m.



The Pledge was recited.



None held.


ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES - Regular Meeting of September 17, 2019

The minutes were approved without correction.



  • Alan Needham, Simsbury Loan Locker

Mr. Needham said the location for the Loan Locker in Simsbury should be secured by next week. He noted that volunteers will be needed and outlined how the process would work.  Someone in need of equipment will call a dedicated line at Town Hall and leave a message; the person will be called back and asked when they would be available to pick it up.  Then a message will go out to see who is available to meet and dispense the requested equipment and record the transaction.  An online inventory will alert volunteers as to what is available. Jean Miles will be involved in the process as well.  Mr. Needham said a flyer will be created and distributed to local agencies.  A contribution of $500 was made to the Loan Locker by the Simsbury Granby Rotary Club.


Mr. LaMontagne introduced Ms. Bibbins and Mr. Sekorski as founders of For All Ages,a non-profit  Ms. Bibbins said was designed to connect the generations to improve health and well-being and change perceptions of aging.  They decided to start their new non-profit in Simsbury because of its interest in becoming an AARP Age-Friendly Community.  Two programs are currently underway in Simsbury:  Chairs for All Ages connects older adults with an interest in carpentry with the Tech Ed class at Simsbury High School, and they are working on making some age-friendly Adirondack chairs through the end of the year.  Another part of the program, for 10 weeks in early 2020, will bring together seniors who enjoy painting, and the chairs will then be painted and placed around the town.  Three businesses in Simsbury have committed to purchasing chairs.  A second program is Simsbury Rocks: 350 older adults will get together with Girl Scouts, starting in November, and will paint rocks and place them throughout town for a town-wide scavenger hunt to be conducted during 350th anniversary celebration.  Getting generations together and encouraging creativity is the goal.



Selectwoman Cook noted that a group of residents from Granby are proposing an ambitious project that would turn an unused primary school building into the Kearns Regional Community Center.She asked that the Aging and Disability Commission look at the report and offer comments/questions to the Board of Selectmen before they offer an endorsement.She also noted that the painting of the rainbow trail art installation, replacing the temporary rainbow crosswalk, was a successful community event completed on October 11th.



Senior Center Director Ms. Marschall noted that on October 27th the Library and Senior Center will co-present a new adaptation of the stage play Frankenstein, performed and written by Greg Oliver Bodine, from 2-3:30 pm in the Program Room.She also noted that the Veterans Coffee has been getting good response; the next one is Monday, November 4, at 10 am, with guest speaker Travis Schweizer, U.S. Navy Captain (Ret.), and president of the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce, in the Old Courtroom.The annual Veterans Lunch will be held November 14that noon at the Freemason Hall, and will be catered by Kane’s. On November 7th, the library will host An Introduction to Virtual Reality at 12:30 pm so that adults may try VR headsets. She also noted that Silver Sneakers is coming to the Senior Center: two cardio fit classes and a chair yoga class start in the first week of November. Finally she noted that the newsletter will include info about For All Ages.


Social Workers Contingency Fund balance will still be about $400 (still awaiting bill from Kane’s for Picnic in the Park).Balance of $344 for Souper Tuesday, but are still awaiting bill.



  • Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show: Ms. Marschall noted there were more attendees this year; the lunch and show was very high energy. She thanked Ms. Miles, Ms. Yeisley, and Mrs. LaMontagne for modeling.  Ms. Robbins noted that a new resident in attendance asked to be included next year.
  • Halloween Sensory-Friendly Program: Ms. Yeisley noted it will be held October 28th 4:30-6:30 pm at Eno Memorial Hall.  Doors will be decorated; she asked for volunteers to answer doors and dispense candy.
  • Sensory-Friendly Santa:  The date has been set for December 6th from 4-6 pm at Eno Memorial Hall, and Santa will be returning. Ms. Yeisley noted that volunteers are also needed for this event.



  • Age Friendly Community Update: Mr. LaMontagne reiterated the list of Community Partners for the Age-Friendly Community application. He asked if there were other suggestions for partners.  Ms. Knall asked if places of worship had been approached; Ms. Beatty asked about environmental agencies; Ms. Robbins asked about neighborhood associations.  He noted that the commission will need to do press releases to expand awareness of the program before we distribute the AARP survey, which he thinks should be done in the spring. Mr. Bible suggested that we look at what Greenwich did, and he volunteered to bring his notes from a meeting he attended there. 
  • Loan Locker Update: Mr. LaMontagne noted that the Town Manager will look at the proposed space this week, which is in the back of the Apple Barn.  It is accessible, and there is water and abundant parking.
  • Spring Seminar: Mr. Bible will work on seminar for the spring; mentioned Dr. Sal Menzes as possibility.



  • Performing Arts Center Accessibility: Mr. LaMontagne intends to send a letter to the Town Manager with suggestions for making PAC more accessible; he will get input from Ms. Knall and Mr. Jennings.
  • Nutmeg Senior Rides: New name for ITN. Simsbury is not currently listed as part of their service area.  A representative from the agency will come to Commission meeting next month to explain the program.
  • Generations: High School Club: Mr. LaMontagne noted that Farmington High School club brought students and seniors together.  He noted that there used to be a liaison on the commission from the High School and wondered if we should create more programs.
  • Kearns Regional Community Center:   Mr. LaMontagne noted he had a tour of the school and that it is in good shape.  Mr. Orenstein noted that transportation might be an issue.
  • Other:  Mr. LaMontagne said he was asked by Representative John Hampton to join the Lieutenant Governor and others in a panel discussion on November 12 at 10:30 to discuss issues about aging and disability.
  • Article:  Mr. LaMontagne distributed an article from Hartford Business, “Tax breaks for seniors could widen gap between CT’s rich and poor.”
  • Other:  Ms. Robbins asked if there could be better signage on the walkways with bicyclists.
  • Other:  Ms. Knall noted that Anthology is hosting a ribbon cutting on November 7.



There being no further business, a request to adjourn the meeting was made. The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 7:00 pm, at Eno Memorial Hall.


Submitted by,

Jan Beatty