If you are interested in reading what a select group of 1,250 Arlington residents think is good about living in Arlington and what needs improvement, you can read the full report by clicking on this link http://bit.ly/1VW1cSs .
Zeno Pfau (above), 78, works 35 hrs. each week as a volunteer with the Mansfield Police Department's "Senior Services program." (I had lunch with Zeno today to learn more about Mansfield's program.) In Mansfield, any older adult who would like to receive a "Wellness Check" via telephone, text, or email can sign up for this free service. So far ~225 people have signed up. The Senior Services program was established in early 2015 at the request of the Mansfield Police Chief, who tapped Zeno to assist in setting up the program and Zeno now runs the program. Every enrollee receives a call or text or email at least once a month to be sure that all is well and to inquire if the enrollee needs any kind of assistance or has any questions. If Zeno is unable to reach the resident after several tries, an Officer is sent to the home to ensure that all is okay. And Zeno is available to enrollees on most weekdays to answer any questions they have about City services, etc. He answers and assists in a multitude of ways. (Zeno spends additional volunteer hours by participating with Citizens Police Academy & Citizens on Patrol, transporting official vehicles where they need to go for repairs or other reasons, directing traffic at events, etc.). I was so impressed by Zeno's dedication to his community. If we had 100 Zeno's we could change the world!
In addition, Mansfield Police Department's Community Resource Division (the Senior Services program falls under this umbrella) will send a police office to conduct:
[Note: I posted this info because it's interesting to see what our neighbor cities do for their older residents. I will make a similar posting soon to reflect what services the City of Arlington offers. I've been told that our uniformed Firefighters will make Fall Prevention Surveys, etc. but I need to get clarification before I can speak with authority.]
This morning, I met with Mark Joeckel of Arlington Proud https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonProud/ with a few others. We talked about Arlington Proud's vision for murals about Arlington's history to be painted on the sides of buildings, his vision for a trolley service from Ft. Worth to Dallas (just as it used to be under the old "Interurban" system), his "Little Free Library" involvement, and his desire to keep "creative types" and "tech entrepreneurs/startups" in Arlington.
Don't forget that there is now a safe exchange zone for online buyers/sellers (ebay, craigslist, etc.) in front of the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building (jail, etc., corner of Cooper St. @ Division), 620 W. Division Street, Arlington. There is an active surveillance camera to ensure everybody's safety and I certainly intend to make use of it for my next transaction which requires a physical exchange of property.
I look forward to meeting with the Ambassadors who come to Thursday night's meeting. We will discuss actions that the Ambassadors can take to ensure that Arlington's "old old" are able to age-at-home (most elders want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible). We will use some discussion points from the book Alone and Invisible No More: How Grassroots Community Action and 21st Century Technologies Can Empower Elders to Stay in Their Homes and Lead Healthier, Happier Lives by Allan S. Teel, M.D.
One of our members emailed the link to the story below from the internet which says that more "tweeters" from Arlington, TX use denigrating slurs against all minorities than just about any other U.S. city. Hard to believe that, eh? I'm not going to spend time worrying about it because it certainly doesn't happen in my circles of friends, but if you want to read for yourself what was said about Arlington, click on this link http://fus.in/1Uv7Yiw
Elva Roy made a few announcements before introducing the speakers.
Our first speaker was Vivian Miller, a PhD student at UTA who is working on her doctorate in Social Work with a specialization in Gerontology. She is President of UTA's "Gerontology Organization." Vivian shared why she is interested in a career helping older adults and some of the UTA curriculum for Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate in Social Work. She also shared the Ethics code that a licensed Social Workers must agree to before receiving a license to practice. In the photo below, Vivian is in the blue "supergirl" T-shirt.
Our second speaker was Mark Joeckel, Founder of Arlington Proud. A former Lutheran minister, Mark is a dynamic and enthusiastic supporter of Arlington, and he reminded us about all of the positive things we love about Arlington (which we sometimes forget to acknowledge since human brains are hardwired to go "negative" first...safety thing back when we were hunters/gatherers, and we needed to be alert to danger). He spoke about an initiative that he's involved with called "Little Free Libraries." Members can "Like" Mark's Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonProud In the photo below, Mark is in the red shirt standing.