Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Workshop to tackle local aging issues

 


A free workshop addressing aging in Haines will be held starting 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at the Senior Center.

The program is sponsored by Southeast Alaska Independent Living, Hospice of Haines, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Cornerstone Home Health Care.

It’s titled, “Staying Put Workshop: Aging Well in Haines” and is billed as “a thoughtful look at Haines as a place for all of us to age well.”

Diane Sly, who retired to Haines a year ago, organized the event as a private citizen. “My mom’s 97 and I can see from her experiences what’s coming down the pike.”

Baby boomers interested in staying in Haines will soon swell the ranks of the elderly here, she said.

“There are many 60-somethings who’ve lived here a long time and haven’t paid attention to the fact that they’re going to try to live out their lives in Haines. Most people want to stay at home (as they age). We’ll discuss what kind of support services we have and what we’d like to have happen... The services will have to expand. There are a lot of us.”

The “Beacon Hill model,” for example, links up seniors with skills offered at discount rates with other, home-bound seniors needing services. “It brings in income and helps other retired people stay in their homes.”

The workshop includes a talk by Ginny Palmer of Juneau’s Foundation for End of Life Care, a “mini-workshop” on end-of life directives, instruction on signing up for Pioneers Homes and medevac insurance, and a roundtable discussion on senior housing, health, and in-home care in Haines.

Palmer created “When You’re Not Here,” a 40-page booklet that addresses comprehensive aging topics ranging from do-not-resuscitate orders to adult protective services, obituaries, cremation and more. Copies of the book will be available at the program.

Also, Dr. Julia Heinz of Haines will speak about maintaining health with age.

Participants in the discussion will include representatives of Hospice, SAIL, SEARHC, Cornerstone, Public Health Nurse office, Haines Senior Village and Haines Assisted Living.

A healthy lunch will be provided at noon.

Organizer Sly said if boomers do nothing else they should at least fill out an “end of life directive” available on the State of Alaska website and file that with their doctor. Such instructions are invaluable in the event a person is incapacitated and stands to receive medical attention.

Sly said she hopes the workshop will become an annual event.