Kane County Commissioner Jim Matson and Council on Aging Coordinator Fayann Christensen, presented at the February 15 Council on Aging meeting, the final decision and plans to restructure the Senior Center services.

Matson announced the county hopes to start thinking about expanding the senior programs, while still working within the county’s budget. In addition, they want to increase the effectiveness of service programs such as Meals on Wheels, to more residents of Kane County. Matson explained part of the restructuring process is to separate the Long Valley and Kanab Senior Center Programs. Each center will stand alone.

Matson emphasized the county is not doing away with programs at the senior centers. Meals will continue to be made in advance and delivered as before.

Another change is from a quality and cost standpoint. For three weeks, the Public Safety facility will prepare the meals served in the Kanab area for $1.10 less a meal.

Beginning in March 2012, Canteen Services will be providing the meals to the Public Facility, and Senior Centers in both cities and townships. Canteen Services has delivered more than 3000 meals to senior citizens. They also have on-staff dietitians.

Matson said with the changes, 50 more daily meals can be served in-house and Meals on Wheels for the residents of Kane County.

The senior menus are approved by a dietitian from the Five County Association of Governments, and are completely different than the typical jail food. There is no charge for citizens age 60 and older, but donations for meals are gladly accepted (suggested donation is $2.50).

Christensen said a resident can qualify for Meals on Wheels home delivery, if the individual is unable to prepare their own meals, or physically unable to leave their home without assistance. The individual may be monitored to see if they qualify. Many individuals are elderly or disabled.

Seniors who are mobile are encouraged to visit the centers and participate in the programs.

Matson said the county is heading in a positive direction with the new programs and it is his job to support those programs.  He also said the city has applied for a feasibility study for the new Senior Center building. The study needs to be funded and approved, and then it goes to the county commissioners for consideration. 

In the restructuring process, there was a need to displace three employees, two cooks and the Kanab Senior Center director. Other employees and volunteers have been crossed-trained with new job descriptions.

Craig Hansen, of Care and Share, will become the coordinator of both Care and Share and the Kanab Senior Center. Fayann Christensen will continue as the Coordinator of the Council on Aging – her job description has not changed.