Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with the new Council on Aging Director, Teresa Gove Arnold. Teresa comes from a background in elder care and disabilities. She is the former Executive Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium. I was pleased to share with Teresa some of the ideas and questions that constituents have regarding the new Council on Aging facility and programs.
New Jean Levesque Community Center
As we know from the news reports, the Center will be ready in the fall of 2018. Teresa is very interested in talking to anyone who has an interest in getting involved in the transition into the new Center. I recently obtained plans for the Center, please click here to view.
I spoke to Teresa about the van service and how several of my constituents have missed appointments because the van was behind schedule or failed to show up. Teresa, who knows a lot about transportation, is working on these issues. I am interested in working with you to see if there are things we can do to improve the current transportation needs, expand it and possibly change the type of fleet. Please let me know your concerns.
Ward 2 has many families that are called the “sandwich generation” because they have young children and aging parents. I asked Teresa if she could explore ways in which the Council on Aging could provide programs that would meet the needs of this challenging family dynamic. This could involve interesting activities that could include all three generations such as walking club, travel club, and lunch club. What about utilizing Salem’s many great restaurants to to do card dinners, painting activities, sculpture time with meal and drinks as part of the activity? I think this is a great opportunity to get creative here.
Partnering with Organizations in Salem
Finally, we discussed how there are so many organizations in Salem to partner with to create new opportunities. The Salem Athenaeum, Salem YMCA, Salem State University (Explorers), Pickering House and the PEM are just a few that came to mind. Why not run a travel tour through the PEM for the 55+ crowd to travel the world, with special VIP tours of museums around the world?
Teresa and I agreed that Salem has so much to offer. Salem is the perfect community for sandwich generation, baby boomers and empty nesters. I am really looking forward to working with Teresa to explore exciting options for our growing aging population.