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MCC Works with Bellevue Senior Coalition on Senior Issues

Spring 2008 | Archives

"One of MCC´s core values is to serve through leadership, lead through service."

MCC has operated a center in Bellevue for two years, and as part of the involvement in the community, staff from the Bellevue location has participated in the Bellevue Senior Coalition.

The Bellevue Senior Coalition was formed in early 2007 as a group of public, private and nonprofit organizations concerned with issues facing seniors in the Bellevue community. The coalition is split into two committees: the Resource Committee and the Education Committee. Associate dean of the Bellevue Center Diana Kerwin-Kubr is the chair of the latter committee and has been a part of the coalition since its inception.

"MCC´s membership in the coalition allows the opportunity to connect with the community and to provide that service and leadership when appropriate," Kerwin-Kubr said. "As one of the community´s educational institutions, it is an honor to be invited to participate and to have that opportunity to offer our expertise."

Kerwin-Kubr mentioned a few of the coalition´s actions and areas of interest. For example, the Resource Committee worked with the Bellevue Police Department and created a program aimed at helping seniors identify appropriate support agencies. This new process will decrease the number of calls to rescue personnel in non-emergency situations. Officers who respond to non-emergency 911 calls from seniors will take down vital information and help compile contact data for future situations. The coalition has also produced a resource information phone list including numbers for assistance programs, city services and crisis services and distributed it to more than 1,500 seniors. "Another concern of the coalition is the numbers of aging baby boomers who will need assistance," Kerwin-Kubr said.

"One-quarter of adults are presently caring for an aging parent or relative, with close to half (45 percent) of this group providing care for their spouse. The goal of the Caregiver Support/Education Committee is to develop a series of educational curricula for those who are taking care of senior and aging adults."

These educational sessions will provide information about helpful resources for caregivers to meet senior needs. The coalition is developing a survey to distribute to the Bellevue community that will address the information needs of caregivers. The survey results and responses will be used to determine what education to offer and when and how to do so.

In support and complementing their actions, the College will continue to offer continuing education bridge classes at the Bellevue Senior Center, including the beginning and intermediate heart series and gardening classes.

"It has been personally rewarding to work with this group of dedicated individuals who, with limited resources and very few meetings, have created a very valuable resource and implemented a process that will have a positive impact on their community," Kerwin-Kubr said. "Egos and politics are checked at the door; everyone is focused on the common goal…I feel lucky to be able to be a part of such a dynamic group of community people."

 
 
 
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