Susan M. Tomanio, LCSW
Director of Elderly Services
10 Elmwood Place
Danbury, CT 06810
Office of the Municipal Agent
Senior and Disabled Housing
Elmwood Hall / Danbury Senior Center
Elmwood Hall / Danbury Senior Center News Letter
Connecticut Commission on Aging
The Department of Elderly Services seeks to increase the quality of life of Danbury area citizens who are age 60 or older by developing many comprehensive programs specifically designed to enrich the general well-being of Danbury’s more mature population. With a special focus on reaching out to those most vulnerable and in need, the department provides the following resource and referral services to assist with “Aging in Place”: the Municipal Agent’s Office for the Elderly, the Van Transportation Program, and the warm and supportive recreational, educational, and wellness-based environment of the Elmwood Hall Senior Center.
The Municipal Agent’s office provides information, referral and outreach, assisting older citizens with up-to-date information on Medicare, Rent Rebate, Tax Credits, Senior Housing, Elder Abuse and a host of other important issues affecting older citizens.
Elmwood Hall provides a variety of programs in the areas of health and wellness, benefits and support, education, leisure time activities, fun and celebrations, and volunteerism. A newsletter titled “The Elmwood Extra” is a bi-monthly publication that keeps all members up to date on what’s going on. The Van Transportation Program provides rides to Elmwood Hall for activities, volunteer work, and special outings in the community.
The department director serves as the chair of Danbury’s “Aging in Place” Planning Council. The vision of the council is to create a community where older adults have the opportunity to age with dignity in the home of their choice.
The Commission on Aging is a nine-member appointed council of volunteers. The Commission works with the department and helps raise awareness of issues of concern for our older citizens.
A “Friends of Danbury Seniors” group, “The Prime Timers, Inc.” is a 501C3 not-for-profit whose sole mission is to support the programs of the department and the Elmwood Hall senior center. Donations are accepted at any time.
Connecticut is the 7th oldest state for median age in the nation. (CT Legislative Commission on Aging). Between the years 2010 and 2020, the population of Danbury seniors 65+ will increase by 31.5% with a 44% of that increase being those over age 90. (State of CT Medicaid Long-Term Care Demands Projections – Mercer 2012) The Danbury Aging in Place Planning Council is focusing its work plans on issues of quality of life, health and wellness, supportive services, housing and transportation, as we work toward creating a community where older adults can age with dignity in the home of their choice. Part of this plan includes a comprehensive, user-friendly database of “Aging in Place” services. Work on this database is currently underway. It will be housed on the department’s city of Danbury webpage providing access to up-to-date information at all times. The department remains a call center for information during office hours.
The Municipal Agent’s office served 3,417 citizens, assisting with a variety of senior issues including: Medicare, Medicaid, CT Rent Rebate Program, Medicare Savings Program, Elder Abuse, Home Care, Energy Assistance, Medigap Programs, Medicare Advantage Plans, Housing, Medical Equipment, Veterans Programs, Legal Services, and Property Tax Credit/Freeze Programs, just to list a few. The Elmwood Hall Senior Center received countless visits from older citizens and recorded consistent visits from 1,618 active seniors who stopped by 25,424 times throughout the fiscal year. Some of our weekly program offerings include: tai chi, zumba gold, line dancing, strength training, aerobics, quilting, knit & crochet, wood carving, art, blood pressure screening, band & chorus, bridge, mah jongg, poker, pinochle, ukulele club, trivia, and ceramics to name a few. Along with our weekly program offerings, the department offered 90 special programs attended by 5,265 seniors. Some of the special programs offered this fiscal year included: flu shot clinics, AARP tax assistance, “Honoring Our Veterans,” Wii bowling leagues, English Tea Party, Mayor Boughton’s Senior Advisory Committee, scams & fraud protection, free health screenings, golf club, historical presentations, Shred-It day, book signings, Danbury Whaler’s day, along with parties and celebrations. Elmwood Hall is a Wi-Fi hotspot and we encourage seniors to come by with their iPads and other wireless devices. We continue to offer the Senior Nutrition Lunch Program five days a week, as well as a free, light breakfast program in the morning. Our Van Transportation Program provided 4,263 one way rides for seniors to and from Elmwood Hall.
Finally, fund raising efforts continue either directly through the city or through The Prime Timers, Inc. Friends of Danbury Seniors fund raising group. A variety of fundraisers, donations and grants brought in a total of $36,140. Revenues of $8,550 were collected in class fees to offset the cost of our instructors. The Department of Elderly Services continues to take pride in serving each of Danbury’s older citizens and looks forward to meeting their upcoming needs in the future.