BCC highlights senior services

SLEEPY EYE – Senior citizen services were highlighted by several agencies Friday at a Brown County Congress event at the Rural Electrical Association auditorium.

Brown County Public Health Adult Health Supervisor Diane Evers presented a two-page list of community resources for seniors and/or those with disabilities.

The list includes adult day services, home health agencies, personal care attendants, visiting services, nursing homes, assisted living/customized living services, low-income housing, memory care/Alzheimer’s facilities, hospice care, home-delivered meals, telephone medical alert systems, medical equipment and supply providers and senior centers.

For more information, visit www.co.brown.mn.us. Call the Senior Linkage Line at 1-800-333-2433. Information includes health insurance and Medicare counseling.

Bob Apitz and Pat LaCourse of Brown County Heartland Express said some of the more popular summer rider destinations were to Flandrau State Park and to Sleepy Eye Lake for rides on the Big Chief (Let’s Go Fishing pontoon boat).

Bus service hours at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday across the county, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, only in New Ulm. In-town bus fares are $1.50 or one white token each way, $.75 or one blue token each way to a (New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, Springfield or Comfrey) nutrition site, $3 or two white tokens to other county locations and .45 per mile with a volunteer driver for out-of-county medical appointments.

Packages of 10 blue tokens can be purchased for $6.50 ($7.50 value) at the Heartland Express Office, 1900 N. Franklin; the New Ulm Senior Dining Site, 600 N German. White token packages are available at the Heartland Express office and Brown County banks and grocery stores.

To schedule a ride, call 359-2717 or 1-800-707-2717. Rides on Sunday and Monday must be called in before 3 p.m. on Friday. Calls received after 3 p.m. for next-day rides will be honored on a space-available basis at the start of the next business day.

LaCourse said Heartland Express needs volunteer drivers for cross county trips. He said volunteer drivers are reimbursed at the federal mileage rate.

“Brown County’s senior citizen population continues to grow as people live longer lives,” Apitz said. “We’re seeing more 85 to 95-year-old riders now.”

Congregate dining for the elderly (age 60 and older, retired or not) is available in house or take-out at New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, Springfield and Comfrey. Frozen meals are available for weekends.

Diabetic, low-sodium and low-fat meals are available. Suggested meal donation is $3.85. Adults under age 60 must pay full meal cost of $6.70. Menus are changed seasonally.

SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits are accepted in lieu of cash donations. Gift certificates are available. For more information, call 1-800-488-4146 or visit www.lssmn.org/nutrition.

Senior dining sites are 600 North German, New Ulm; Ross Park Apartments, 313 4th Ave. S.E., Sleepy Eye; Downtown Estates, 102 Lincoln, Springfield; and the Comfrey Community Building, 120 E. Brown, Comfrey.

Allina Health Home Care Services, New Ulm Clinical Manager Amber Melby, RN, BSN, said Allina hospice and home care services for those with life-threatening illnesses include consulting teams with social workers and therapists.

She said costs are covered by most insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Private pay options are available. In addition, New Ulm Medical Center offers advance care planning at no cost.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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