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Wadena County Commissioners: Central Minnesota Council on Aging update


by Trinity Gruenberg

The Wadena County Commissioners held their regular meeting on May 14. 

Central Minnesota Council on Aging

Lori Vrolson, executive director of the Central Minnesota Council on Aging (CMCOA), gave the commissioners the annual update.

Vrolson shared they have three primary responsibilities with the main one being the allocation of funds at the local level ,the Federal Older Americans Act funding.

The funds are distributed to area providers to help keep older adults in their homes. In the 14 county area, they have awarded $2.5 million per year, with Wadena County receiving over $67,000 last year. These services include homemakers, congregate meals, home delivered meals, caregiver consultant and education, respite, Senior LinkAge and legal assistance.

“There are still a lot of gaps in services,” said Vrolson.

The meals were the largest category of funding with over 38,000 meals provided in the county.

Over the last year and a half, their development staff, along with Commissioner Chuck Horsager who is a board member for CMCOA are trying to pull together a group of providers in the area to gain interest as they release a proposal for grant funding.

The hope is  to get two providers to come in next year to help fill some of the gap needed here. 

“By no means will it fill the complete need that is out here. We’re hoping as they are able to develop their services, that those particular gaps will be filled,” explained Vrolson.

This would help them apply for alternative care and funding to help individuals on  low income and medical assistance. 

Some of the congregate meals are served at several community locations and senior homes.

What CMCOA hopes to do in the future is partner with food shelves and bring frozen meals to the food shelf locations and give the senior a week’s worth of meals. . . .

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