Aging in Our Community A Message from W. Mark Clark, President and CEO
participate and receive help. We also offer training for family caregivers and professional care providers, including hands-on caregiving skills training, first aid and CPR, and our Visibility Matters LGBTQI+ sensitivity training. Among our newer offerings is the work being done by our Dementia Capable Southern Arizona project, anchored at PCOA and delivered in collaboration with a variety of community partners to expand our community’s capacity to support those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and their caregivers. We now offer free memory screenings, are working with partners to host memory cafes for people with dementia and their caregivers, and are developing workplace supports. This year, we will take a lead role in conjunction with Pima County government to develop a Dementia Friendly Community plan, with the intent of making the whole County a more inclusive, understanding and supportive place for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Also this year, with support from the Pima County Board of Supervisors and the Mayor and Council of the City of Tucson, PCOA is launching a pilot home sharing program, HomeMatch Pima. The program will match home owners who have space to share with people seeking affordable housing solutions. Older adults who may be house rich but income poor will benefit from the increased cash resources of
As the new year begins, I’m excited about the opportunities PCOA has to offer our community. The amazing support we have received, and continue to receive, has made it possible for us to be responsive to the diverse and urgent needs of older adults during these past couple of challenging years. I’m immeasurably proud of the work we have done, and looking forward to what we are poised to do in 2022. And we are humbled and in awe of your support. In March of 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, we and our community partners collectively suspended the community lunch program that was at the time operating in 12 sites across Pima County. Since that time, we have offered grab and go freshly prepared meals for curbside pickup at many of those sites to ensure continued access to nutritious food for older adults who were relying on those lunch programs for daily meals or otherwise needed assistance to meet their nutritional needs. We are now making plans to re-open the community lunch programs, and I’m optimistic about doing so sooner than later. We continue to expand our virtual and in-person opportunities to engage, learn, connect, and receive assistance. Our Healthy Living Programs, Family Caregiver Services, End of Life Initiatives, Medicare Program, and so many other services offer a variety of in-person and remote ways to
home sharing, as well as increased social contact, and as a community, we can put existing housing stock to use housing people who are struggling in our current high-rent environment and also seeking social connection. That program is currently in the planning and building phase and is not yet making matches, but interested home owners can visit HomeMatchPima. pcoa.org and complete an interest form, and will receive more information once the service is up and running later in the year. Please note that home owners must be age 60 or older for participation in HomeMatch Pima. I know the board, staff and volunteers of PCOA, PimaCare at Home and CareGiver Training Institute echo my sentiment when I say we enter this new year with renewed energy for and a deep commitment to the very important work before us. Older adults in our community want and deserve the experience of aging well, in an environment that supports them, respects their contributions, and provides for their needs. As advocates and providers of information and services, PCOA enters 2022 with revitalized resolve to lead the way in making the communities of Pima County stellar places to age well.
W. Mark Clark President & CEO
January 2022, Never Too Late | Page 3
Pima Council on Aging
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