ELDERLY COMMISSION MEETING
REGULAR MEETING: January 22, 2007 at 11:30 am
East Windsor Town Hall
Meeting Minutes of January 22, 2007:
I. Meeting called to order at 11:41am, by Claire Badstubner, Chairman.
Present Members: Claire Badstubner (Chairman), Elizabeth Burns (Municipal Agent), Madeleine Thompson, M. Trevor Bray.
Absent Members: Cathy Drouin (Vice-Chairman), Karen Boutin
Invited Guests: Ken Crouch, EW Deputy First Selectman; Laura Clynch, EW Director-Senior Services
III. Previous Minutes:
A) Regular Meeting 1/8/07:
Motion made by Ms. Thompson to accept the minutes as presented.
Seconded by Mr. Bray. All in favor, Motion carried.
IV. Transportation Services to Adult Daycare:
Ms. Burns informed the commission that an official letter was mailed to Allied Transportation, today, as a follow up from the previous meeting. The letter stated information on where current clients live (street names only) so that Allied can return with a closer estimate of cost to transport those clients to Adult Day Care Centers.
Ms. Burns also informed the commission that currently, Felician sisters has 1 EW client, 5 days/week and 1 EW client, 2 days/week. Enfield Adult Day Care Center currently has 2 EW clients, 5 days/week and 1 EW client, 4 days/week.
Discussion evolved regarding the earlier request by the commission to both Felician Sisters and Enfield as to how many EW residents have been turned away due to transportation issues. Although Felician Sisters said they have turned away 10 EW residents and Enfield states they turned away 6 EW residents (in 2006), neither could confirm if they even had room in their facilities at those times. Commission members have not received a clear answer from either facility; therefore, members are questioning if they (the facilities) are truly basing their numbers on “lack of transportation” and/or there was no room available in their facility. Neither facility could provide names or addresses of those who inquired during 2006 (or earlier).
Ms. Thompson expressed concern over the commission doing a spring survey and by the time data is collected, processed/evaluated, this issue may not be considered into the budget until 2008. Ms. Thompson asked Ms. Clynch about her thoughts on increasing the budget for transportation for the upcoming year. Ms. Clynch replied that additional monies would need to be appropriated (for Adult Day Care transportation); therefore requesting an increase in the transportation budget would be needed.
Ms. Thompson further expressed that the commission owes the BOS something in March, as they are expecting a report. After further discussion amongst members, Ms. Clynch summarized by stating that the commission can submit a “progress report” to the BOS, even though the survey results will not be in yet.
Commission members discussed “service area(s)” for Adult Day Care Center transportation. Ms. Thompson asked if the town can select only one area to service or should a (i.e.) “25-mile” radius be established? It was stated that the BOS can approve one “service area”. Commission further discussed the possibility of presented the BOS with a cost analysis, i.e. “5 clients would cost $x through Dial-A-Ride versus $x through Allied Transportation….”
Ms. Clynch will gather more figures for the commission in order for them to establish an analysis. Ms. Clynch stated that she needs the following information, as stated in a letter to Ms. Burns:
· How many hours a driver would need to commit. (commission agreed: minimum 4 hours/day)
· Hourly wage of a driver? (current union schedule)
· Skilled aide or no aide on the bus? Who pays for the aide? What pay rate?
(current town P/T Employee Schedule pays $12-15.88/hour)
· Would employee benefits need to be considered? (partial benefits, including holidays, closings, social security)
· # participating clients
· Would town supply all day service or transport only one-way? (Ms. Burns suggested a cost factor to be considered with both scenarios)
Ms. Burns suggested that Ms. Clynch work out both scenarios (aide and no-aide) for cost analysis. Ms. Clynch will gather information based on transportation to Enfield only. She will also include vehicle cost/usage in her report.
Mr. Bray asked if there are any legal issues that may require that the town have an aide on the bus. This issue may need to be explored further depending on medical conditions of clients utilizing the service. Mr. Crouch added that, from his experiences as a substitute driver for Felician Sisters, someone is always at the door on time, never causing delays and someone is also at the person’s home to help on/off the bus. Ms. Clynch further added that Felician Sisters does have a different clientele than Enfield Adult Day Care Center.
Ms. Clynch suggested that part of the survey ask whether families need more transportation assistance in the AM or in the PM. Mr. Crouch stated that he has seen both needs. Ms. Clynch reminded the commission that this would be a town effort to help families in need.
Mr. Crouch asked the commission if they have considered asking people to pay for the service. Ms. Badstubner responded that yes that will also be a question on the survey. Mr. Crouch further inquired as to whether insurance companies can pay for such a service. A brief discussion, with Ms. Thompson, regarding Title 19 and CCCI began.
Ms. Clynch reminded the commission that if town vehicles are used, there are federal and state guidelines, due to funding, that must be followed. Towns can not charge residents for the use of those vehicles; however, “suggested donations” can be made. Ms. Clynch reminded the commission that these vehicles are available for use by those in town and that the town can not discriminate whether a “donation” is made or not. Ms. Burns suggested a letter to clients explaining that donations help to defray costs. Ms. Clynch stated that D-A-R does do that now.
Ms. Thompson asked why some town do charge an annual fee for their Dial-A-Ride? Ms. Clynch responded that it depends on how that town’s vehicles were funded, in terms of what their guidelines are. For example, a town may own a vehicle outright, which allows them to charge a fee to cover operational costs. Ms. Clynch also reminded the commission that income will not come from EW D-A-R to cover costs and that this will be a cost to the town.
Ms. Badstubner asked Ms. Clynch if volunteers can be on the bus (to assist). Ms. Clynch said that yes, but her office would need to know in advance so that they can allow for enough seating on the bus.
Mr. Bray questioned whether additional insurance coverage would need to be considered. Ms. Clynch informed the commission that the town has an “insurance blanket” that would cover any issues and there would be no additional cost to the town for insurance.
Mr. Bray asked how repairs are currently paid and should this be considered in her report? Ms. Clynch stated that they are paid from budget monies. Ms. Clynch will include the following statement in her report: “vehicle wear and tear has not been included”.
The commission decided to establish two different plans to present to the BOS. (1) costs utilizing Allied Transportation and (2) costs utilizing the town’s D-A-R system.
Discussion began regarding the use of a car versus a van. Mr. Crouch commented that he has seen instances where only one or two people are on a van and that perhaps a car would be utilized enough to make an economical difference. Ms. Clynch agreed that a car would get used in the D-A-R program and would create a lot more flexibility and also be a cost savings.
Ms. Burns supplied members with brochures/website printouts for a new Adult Day Care Facility in South Windsor. The facility, not yet open, will provide “free” transportation. East Windsor is in their service area. Ms. Clynch added that this may be comparable to what the town can offer. Ms. Burns will contact facility to request a tour for commission members.
Ms. Clynch reminded the commission that EW residents do have choices. There are other facilities that provide transportation, although Enfield does not. Ms. Clynch commented that she will also include, in her report, that both Enfield facilities are not looking to contribute to transportation costs.
Ms. Burns asked if EW can request that Enfield provide transportation (D-A-R) to Enfield Day Care. Ms. Badstubner asked if Enfield could charge EW to pick up its 5 clients. Ms. Clynch stated that they do currently contract out for mental health – unsure on Adult Day Care, however.
Commission began discussion of survey questions. Mr. Bray presented his questions/sample survey – copies of his questions given to members.
Members added in the following questions/issues:
· Cost – would you be willing to share in the cost of transportation?
· Do you currently use an Adult Day Care facility? If yes, where are you receiving these services?
· What is your need for transportation?
· What time of day (AM/PM) would you need transportation?
· Should the survey ask “name” and “address” (members discussed this and agreed to keep it on the survey, but add in “optional”)
Members further discussed how to “properly” word a question regarding a client’s mental status. Mr. Bray reminded the commission that we don’t need specific information on residents, only if there is an interest in transportation.
Members to decide on deadline of survey at a later date. Ms. Burns will find out when the next town newsletter is going out, as that is the avenue the commission has agreed to distribute the survey. The commission also agreed that besides mailing in the survey, residents should have the option of “dropping off” the survey at town hall – Ms. Burns suggested creating a drop box in the First Selectman’s office.
Mr. Crouch reminded the commission that the opening of the SW facility is “new to the mix” and that members should consider what issues this may cause in regards to the town providing transportation to Enfield. Further discussion regarding the SW facility ensued and members agree that this does need to be discussed further.
Ms. Badstubner recommended that the survey state that the town may consider providing transportation to local adult day care centers as opposed to specifically stating Enfield adult day care centers.
Regular Meeting adjourned at 1:10pm.
Motion made by Trevor Bray. Seconded by Madeleine Thompson. Motion carried.