It is amazing what can be learned over an occasional cup of coffee with colleagues. This simple principle is what Aging Services Network (ASN) is all about - just take an hour every three months, sit down together in a group, enjoy a cup of coffee with friends and listen to a presentation about an occupational topic of choice. One may find that sometimes the person sitting next to them will have a solution to a tricky problem they have been trying to solve. Sharing time, talents and expertise is what ASN is trying to achieve.
On the United State Census Bureau's website under 2011 Quick Facts, it is reported that 16.8 percent of residents of Chautauqua County are age 65 or older. This means the 7,988 or around 8,000 folks of the total population of 134,368 are over the age of 65. This is a remarkable number of folks who are the county's legacy - they have lived here, worked here, and many have retired here. These folks are looked after and assisted by many agencies and individuals within the county. With this in mind, ASN was formed to gather the professionals working with this 60-plus population together to share knowledge, resources and best practices so they may better be prepared to serve their clients, friends, residents, volunteers or neighbors.
ASN is an informal gathering of professionals serving the senior population within Chautauqua County. There is not a membership fee and meetings are held quarterly (January, April, July and October) on the third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Sometimes meetings may be scheduled at different times to accomodate special speakers. The location of the meetings is flexible, held at different agencies to accommodate everyone countywide and encourage attendance. The meetings are held at senior centers, senior living complexes or agencies serving seniors. Meetings are not only for professionals working with seniors; area residents are always invited and encouraged to attend as they always offer some valuable insight.
From left: Aging Services Network Chautauqua County officers — Karen Luck, co-president; Pat Truax, secretary-treasurer; and Debbie Basile, co-president.
Each meeting features a speaker. Each presentation instructs about a relevant, specific, senior topic with the speaker sharing their expertise in their designated field. The formal instruction is followed by refreshments, two door prizes, plus time dedicated to agency sharing. Everyone tells of their own agency's special event or share information about opportunities beneficial to seniors. All correspondence concerning meeting times and schedules are all handled via e-mail.
The 2013 schedule is as follows (each meeting is held at 2 p.m.):
Jan. 15, Patient's Pharmacy, Inc. - United Methodist Gardens, 430 East Ave., Falconer
April 16, Legal Assistance of Western New York - Rosch Activity Center (Lutheran campus), 184 1/2 Aldren Ave., Jamestown
July 16, Cindy Aronson, trainer specializing in communication and organizational development - Bemus Point United Methodist Church, 4954 Bemus-Ellery Road, Bemus Point
Oct. 15, William Tucker, executive director of American Red Cross of Southwestern New York, on disaster preparedness - Dunkirk Senior Center, 45 Cliffstar Court, Dunkirk
If interested in joining ASN in Chautauqua County, contact Co-Presidents Debbie Basile at 665-8039 or Karen Lucks at 665-4899, or Secretary/Treasurer Pat Truax at 661-8941.