Seniors speak out |

Seniors speak out

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunLucy Greene eats lunch at the Truckee Senior Center on Monday.

Local seniors want low-cost health screening programs, exercise classes and cultural events, and they are concerned about home security and fire safety, according to a study done by the Truckee Tahoe Seniors Council.

The senior needs assessment, the first of its kind in the region, will be a guiding document for a five-year strategic plan to be completed by the Truckee Tahoe Seniors Council. The strategic plan will also be a first for the seniors council, which formed in July 2001 to serve seniors in the Truckee and North Tahoe region.

“The older adult population is going to continue to increase,” said Melanie Kauffman, executive director of the Truckee Tahoe Seniors Council. “The seniors council’s goal is not only to take care of today’s seniors, but to also plan for this growth.”

Nearly 500 residents age 55 and older responded to the survey, which includes respondents from Incline Village to Homewood and in Truckee. The assessment was funded in part by The California Endowment and the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

Jim Abbott, 62 of Truckee, sits on the council’s senior advisory committee, which helped develop the survey before it was sent out to 3,101 households last year. The assessment will help the advisory committee better represent seniors in the region, Abbott said.

“It’s helpful information, rather than us shooting in the dark,” he said.

Also in the survey, 75 percent of seniors reported they had never been to the Truckee Senior Center.

Only 5 percent of the seniors reported they don’t have primary health insurance, but 31 percent reported they don’t have secondary health insurance, according to the assessment.

The senior needs assessment has been shared with agencies around town, including Tahoe Forest Hospital, county health organizations, the Community Collaborative of Truckee Tahoe, the Truckee Fire Protection District and the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, Kauffman said.

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