A group that addresses the needs of an older adult population in Buda could be on the horizon.
Earlier this month, the Buda City Council considered developing an advisory commission on aging following a presentation by Patricia Bordie, director for the Capital Area Coalition of Governments (CAPCOG) on aging.
Buda Human Resources Director Kristen Williams said discussion began after council asked city staff what was needed to create an advisory committee or commission on aging in the community.
In a presentation to council, Bordie explained different models she has had experience with that would enhance opportunity within the city’s older adult community.
Bordie said the mission behind the CAPCOG agency is to “promote regional services for older adults.” She said the commission would not cost the city any money, provided it begins with a focus group and moves forward from there.
Bordie said the first step with any public outreach campaign is to assess the needs of the population in question – the older adult Buda residents.
She gave examples of several ways to reach out to the older adult community including public meetings, surveys and focus groups.
Both Georgetown and Austin created Aging Advisory Commissions to assist in planning for services directed at older adults, Bordie said. She added commissions are mainly created to act as a liaison between older residents and city government.
Bordie said the commission would be comprised of people who submit an application and those who are appointed by the mayor and council members.
Bordie said the more diverse the aging commission is, the better it will reflect the needs of Buda residents.
Commision initiatives could extend to including other service and medical providers, as well as providing older Buda residents with various living and transportation options.
“You want a commission that is truly representative of the community, the Buda community,” Bordie said.
Council members were in favor of exploring the options for a focus group to first get some feedback from Buda’s older adult community.
“I would really like you to start us off with a focus group that probably meets quarterly,” Buda council member Eileen Altmiller, who also fills a seat on the CAPCOG Aging Advisory Committee, said at the November meeting.
Buda Mayor Todd Ruge was optimistic about the options Bordie presented and even proposed an opportunity to survey older adults in the community at the Buda Trail of Lights.
“I think this is a great idea and worthy of consideration,” Ruge said, “We should have staff prepare something for the Seniors Night at the Buda Trail of Lights so we can survey the captive audience about what their needs currently are in Buda.”