- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - The Kenaitze Indian Tribe has been able to reach more members of its elder community with the opening of a new center for the elderly at its Old Town Kenai campus.

The Tyotkas Elder Center opened in March, and an official grand opening ceremony was held last weekend, The Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/28KoBST ). Shayna Franke, the center’s manager, said the campus is a great location for the elder center because it brings them closer to other services.

“Through the Dena’ina Wellness Center, we have our family services, our social services and our tribal court all in the same campus, so everything is within walking distance,” she said. “Unfortunately a lot of our elders aren’t able to drive or need transportation assistance, so that eliminates that burden.”

The new 6,500-square-foot facility was built in response to ongoing maintenance issues that plagued the previous building where elder services were provided.

Franke said there has been an increase in the number of elders coming to the facility, which now welcomes 30 to 60 people a day.



Jaylene Peterson-Nyren, the tribe’s executive director, praised the new elder center at the opening ceremony as part of the tribe’s vision for improving the health and wellbeing of its members.

“It is a vision that came from our elders and our council, and they took a long time to go through what it is that we want to see, what does success look like for our community?” she said. “We believe in not just health for our people, but overall wellness.”

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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