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A pilot project connecting senior citizens with the wealth of organizations that already existplus adding more resourcesis being unveiled in Langlade County.

Terri Johnson is community health aging coordinator for the HeART Project, an acronym for “healthy aging in rural towns.” It is 21/2 year program, funded through a $100,000 grant from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing and supported by the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Building a Healthier Langlade County was one of three coalitions in the state of Wisconsin to receive this funding. The other two coalitions are the City of Waupun and Iowa County.

“We are focused on healthier aging in rural communities, Johnson said, explaining that at the end of the project, the group will report back to Madison with strategies that could be implemented on a statewide basis.

The first phase of this effort included surveying Langlade County residents about their knowledge of and use of services aimed at older adults and caregivers. From that information, strategies were identified and a detailed workplan was developed.

That led to phase two, hiring Johnson to help coordinate the activities in the work plan and successfully reach strategic goals.

Johnson is working with coalition that includes including the Aging and Disability Resource Center, Antigo Community Food Pantry, Antigo Public Library, Aspirus, The Bay at Eastview & Gardenview, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Northcentral Technical College, city of Antigo, Langlade County, Red Robin Transit, and community members from Elcho, White Lake and Antigo and others to more clearly provide support and services to seniors and caregivers.

“The grant will allow us to purchase items important to our senior population,” Johnson said, including placing benches at businesses and public spaces for seniors to sit while waiting for a ride or pick-up.

“We are also at work designing senior citizen parking signs at both public and private parking lots,” she said.

Another example is the red flag program, which will place red flags at crosswalks to aid people crossing the street.

“Wave the flag overhead to alert traffic you are crossing slowing or stopping traffic for pedestrians,” she said. “This will be particularly helpful at intersections that cross Highway 45.”

Johnson and her team will also be creating an online hub of information that points to resources and services for seniors and caregivers.

“A lot of what we do will be one on one,” she said.

In the future, Johnson hopes to will coordinate wellness activities, such as fitness classes and nutrition workshops, and offer design programs to aid caregivers.

“We will address transportation issues, especially for those in more rural areas that are alone and/or unable to drive. “ she said. “We will tackle issues of loneliness and isolation. We will find ways to address the hurdles that prevent seniors from being socially involved in community events.”

She admitted the list is a long one.

“But we have many resources and services already in place in Langlade County and it's amazing hoe partners have jumped on,” she said. “We are going to work hard to get people connected through coordinated, easy-to-find information, workshops, and social activities.”

Johnson said she is seeking participants to attend workshops and seminars; participate in focus groups; and to learn about issues affecting our older adults and caregivers. To help the HeART Project, contact her tjohnson@co.langlade.wi.us or 715-627-6374.
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Terri Johnson is the new community health aging coordinator for the HeART Project, an acronym for “healthy aging in rural towns.”

Program to connect resources unveiled
space
A pilot project connecting senior citizens with the wealth of organizations that already existplus adding more resourcesis being unveiled in Langlade County.

Terri Johnson is community health aging coordinator for the HeART Project, an acronym for “healthy aging in rural towns.” It is 21/2 year program, funded through a $100,000 grant from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing and supported by the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Building a Healthier Langlade County was one of three coalitions in the state of Wisconsin to receive this funding. The other two coalitions are the City of Waupun and Iowa County.

“We are focused on healthier aging in rural communities, Johnson said, explaining that at the end of the project, the group will report back to Madison with strategies that could be implemented on a statewide basis.

The first phase of this effort included surveying Langlade County residents about their knowledge of and use of services aimed at older adults and caregivers. From that information, strategies were identified and a detailed workplan was developed.

That led to phase two, hiring Johnson to help coordinate the activities in the work plan and successfully reach strategic goals.

Johnson is working with coalition that includes including the Aging and Disability Resource Center, Antigo Community Food Pantry, Antigo Public Library, Aspirus, The Bay at Eastview & Gardenview, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Northcentral Technical College, city of Antigo, Langlade County, Red Robin Transit, and community members from Elcho, White Lake and Antigo and others to more clearly provide support and services to seniors and caregivers.

“The grant will allow us to purchase items important to our senior population,” Johnson said, including placing benches at businesses and public spaces for seniors to sit while waiting for a ride or pick-up.

“We are also at work designing senior citizen parking signs at both public and private parking lots,” she said.

Another example is the red flag program, which will place red flags at crosswalks to aid people crossing the street.

“Wave the flag overhead to alert traffic you are crossing slowing or stopping traffic for pedestrians,” she said. “This will be particularly helpful at intersections that cross Highway 45.”

Johnson and her team will also be creating an online hub of information that points to resources and services for seniors and caregivers.

“A lot of what we do will be one on one,” she said.

In the future, Johnson hopes to will coordinate wellness activities, such as fitness classes and nutrition workshops, and offer design programs to aid caregivers.

“We will address transportation issues, especially for those in more rural areas that are alone and/or unable to drive. “ she said. “We will tackle issues of loneliness and isolation. We will find ways to address the hurdles that prevent seniors from being socially involved in community events.”

She admitted the list is a long one.

“But we have many resources and services already in place in Langlade County and it's amazing hoe partners have jumped on,” she said. “We are going to work hard to get people connected through coordinated, easy-to-find information, workshops, and social activities.”

Johnson said she is seeking participants to attend workshops and seminars; participate in focus groups; and to learn about issues affecting our older adults and caregivers. To help the HeART Project, contact her tjohnson@co.langlade.wi.us or 715-627-6374.
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Terri Johnson is the new community health aging coordinator for the HeART Project, an acronym for “healthy aging in rural towns.”
2019
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