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Senior advocacy group looking to start chapters

By Staff | May 9, 2011

A new senior advocacy group called Seniors Speak and Speak For Seniors will hold an organizational meeting Thursday, May 12.
It is a non profit, non medical, non political entity, said organizer Robert Hertz.
The purpose of the group is to help seniors become more empowered.
“Our main purpose is to lessen isolation and loneliness and to allow seniors to speak together in a supportive, positive atmosphere,” he said, adding seniors can share their real life experiences in the group.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at All Faiths Unitarian Church, 2756 McGregor Blvd. Information about decision making for seniors will be offered, with a panel and discussion. Seniors, their families and friends, and anyone looking to start a chapter in another local area, are invited to attend.
Besides launching the group there, Hertz’s goal is also to establish local chapters outside of the greater Fort Myers city area.
To accomplish the goal of empowerment, there will be monthly meetings where seniors, families and friends can support one another and develop what works best in their decision making.
“My main view is we should be able to talk and share our experiences both good and bad so that service providers know more about our needs,” he said.
Speakers expected to attend the initial meeting will provide a variety of information, including information on pharmacy options, living arrangements available to seniors and definitions of different levels of senior care cost.
“This is variations and what you get for your money, helping you to focus on what’s best for you.”
Hertz is a licensed clinical social worker.
“As a senior myself, making decisions about my future, I have found lots of conflicting information as I saw it, less-than-true representation, and great lack of knowledge of what costs and options truly are.
“By sharing information and our experiences, we can strengthen senior options.”
A light dinner will be served at no charge but a donation to the church is suggested. You must RSVP to Hertz so there is an adequate meal count; call 471-3277.
“There has already been a lot of excitement about the group,” Hertz said.