With the town council looking for ways to help make a proposed assisted living facility a reality, the Mansfield Commission on Aging sees this as a chance to address one of its top priorities.
Commission Chair Carol Pellegrine said an assisted-living complex and more wellness services at the town’s senior/wellness center were the top two priorities in the commission’s long-range plan.
The plan was approved by the commission during its Feb. 14 meeting.
Those long-range plans, which run though December 2013 and list a number of goals and recommendations, are available on the town’s web site, www.mansfieldct.gov
The plan also includes other goals, such as expanded transportation assistance available to seniors, but Pellegrine said assisted living and more wellness programs could help reduce other needs.
“If we could move these (services) closer to home, that does address transportation needs,” she said.
Pellegrine also said some seniors need transportation to places as far as New Haven for medical services, but providing some of those services closer to home would reduce the demand for transportation assistance.
Along with more medical services at the town’s wellness/ senior center, the commission urges continued support for Masonicare, the preferred developer for a senior-living complex.
Masonicare has said the complex could have both assisted and non-assisted units, but ultimately the make-up of such a development would depend on the market at the time.
The town council named Masonicare the preferred developer in 2008 and the developer has a purchase option for a property on Maple Road.
But Masonicare has been unable to move forward with the proposed project, citing a bad economy and issues securing water for any development.
The commission also urged more outreach, communication and education for seniors, including continued usage of the TRIAD program.
According to the National Association of Triads, any town can form a local Triad by uniting law enforcement and other public safety agencies to work with seniors.
Pellegrine said the council already passed one of the commission’s more recent recommendations last month when it approved adding senior center fees to those eligible for waivers.
She also said the senior center and other senior services will continue to see an increased demand as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, increasing the town’s senior population.