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home : health : health December 11, 2017

10/10/2017 1:26:00 PM
A growing, inclusive community for Sisters seniors
By Joann Power

The Earth shook a bit Monday, September 25, under the Rainwater Café when a group of 10 enthusiastic "shakers and movers" got together for the first time as a steering committee for the emerging Senior Alliance.

The steering committee will provide the Sisters community with a picture of the needs of our aging community. The emphasis is that Senior Alliance is inclusive. Conversations and collaboration are key to its direction for assisting seniors in the community to have and to easily access the many services present and needed. Anyone interested in participating in the future conversations are urged to contact Joann Power with their name, contact and specific interest. Email: (They will then be sent invitations and information.)

Maybe another volcano is emerging to join the Cascades' Three Sisters Mountains to attract admiring attention to keep this "age-friendly" community's spirit active. The term "age-friendly city" is used by Dr. Margaret B. Neal, director of the Institute on Aging, an outstanding promoter of such communities world-wide. She will be visiting Sisters on November 3, probably because she has already heard how Sisters is the model of a caring, friendly little city.

A coined word, "agers" describes anyone from conception to age 110. Yet each stage and age has its unique needs, and a healthy community meets them. Sisters now does an outstanding job of meeting educational needs.

From preschool through high school are growth experiences and educational opportunities that are exemplary. But then jobs for the graduates are scarce in Sisters. People hear about their well-educated, talented youth serving well in other communities. Senior citizens approach situations where they are tempted to leave for places that have better transportation or more accessible services for them. Often they are unaware of the services that are here. Thus Sisters loses two groups of its loved and talented agers. Perhaps there are ways to keep both young and old here to the economic benefit of the community. Senior Alliance invites each citizen to analyze all answers to that.

Sisters attracts retired people as residents. They are a large part of the population here. Services for these people as they age can employ many. Doctors, nurses, counselors, financial advisers, bankers, food services, grocery stores, landscapers, home services such as cleaning, animal care, yard care, transportation, grocery delivery, food preparation. Handy men and women are needed daily by the 65- to 85-year-olds still comfortable but needing some help in their own homes.

Either here or in another community senior citizens will pay for such services. Seniors mean profitable industry. Their needs are potentials for businesses and part-time work for many young people. Youth saving to go to university, or young parents who need part- or full-time jobs to raise their young families need a fair wage. Most seniors can afford to pay that. To make the many services already existing more easily known and more accessible could be a goal. When an assisted-living facility is built here as planned, it will employ many younger people, helping all agers to continue to live in their home town.

This newly formed group, Senior Alliance, invites everyone to think and talk about incorporating the talents and kindnesses of each age group to continue to coordinate the model community for all its agers. Senior Alliance will give out and collect information at the Senior Health Fair being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 20, at Sisters Park & Recreation District, 1750 W. McKinney Butte Rd.

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