Apply for MLK Parade
For anyone interested in marching in the 2020 Plant City MLK Festival’s Freedom Parade, now is the time to apply.
One of the biggest highlights of the festival, which runs from Jan. 11-25, 2020, the 34th annual Freedom Parade will hit the streets of downtown Plant City from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 18, 2020. The 1.4-mile route begins at the corner of Wheeler St. and Dr. MLK Boulevard near Wells Fargo and ends at what will soon be the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center next to Marshall Middle School.
To apply, visit plantcitymlkfestival.com to download the application form on the site’s home page or call the Improvement League of Plant City at 813-704-5800 or 813-757-6760 for more information. The deadline to apply is Jan. 10, 2020. See the application form for rules.
For those who just want to watch the parade, the MLK Festival’s recommended hangout spots include the Wells Fargo parking lot, the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center parking lot, the parking area on the corner of Collins Street and Dr. MLK Boulevard, Samuel Cooper Park, the Bing House, Charlow Funeral Home and the Marshall Middle School gym area.
Dept. of Elder Affairs releases 2019 accomplishments
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs released last week its 2019 major accomplishments to promote health and wellness for the state’s seniors, families and caregivers.
Florida joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities in April, becoming the fourth state to do so. The Livable Florida movement promotes the implementation of age-friendly communities to “tackle the challenges and embrace the positive possibilities that an aging population creates,” as well as to stop elder abuse and to “help maximize the independence and quality of life of older adults, while also enhancing the economic, civic, and social vitality of the community.” There have been 34 age-friendly communities established since April and Gov. Ron DeSantis has recommended using $440,000 from the next fiscal year’s budget to support Livable Florida.
May was Older Americans Month and DOEA Secretary Richard Prudom went before the U.S. Senate Select Committee to highlight Florida’s efforts to make life better for seniors. The committee met to discuss reauthorization of the federal Older Americans Act, the primary funder of the country’s older adult services.
DeSantis announced the Dementia Action Plan in March to help Floridians living with or caring for people with forms of dementia. The Dementia Care and Cure Initiative created task forces in 11 planning and service areas in the state and the DOEA plans to add more participating cities and counties. A $3.1 million increase in funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative was approved this year and the department plans to spend $3.6 million more in the next fiscal year for that cause.
The DOEA overhauled the Office of Public and Professional Guardians in July to regulate more than 550 professional guardians, close 80 open cases, make reports available directly after an investigation closes, increase funding by $6.5 million and more.
The department also partnered with the state Department of Health on its State Health Improvement Plan for seniors, increased financial support for caregivers through its Home Care for the Elderly program for the first time in 20 years, modified the Community Care for the Elderly program to help clients who had trouble making payments, grew its Adult Care Food Program by adding 26 new providers, utilized a mapping program to locate seniors in need and much more.
The full list of accomplishments is available online at elderaffairs.org.