Up-dates for SENIORS
By Denise G. Nelesen, LCSW
National Awards for Two Programs
... Learn to defend yourself from being attacked physically or financially by attending one of our award-winning “Senior Expo: Protect Yourself & Your Wallet” events. Karate black belt Mary Davis shows how to avoid trouble and what to do if you are physically attacked. Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office and Adult Protective Services alert you to scams and fraud.
Beat the Heat visiting a“Cool Zone”
...The Cool Zones program has begun with the start of summer. Having air-conditioned settings where seniors and others can congregate to beat the heat reduces individual energy costs and protects their health. Supervisor Dianne Jacob is the creator of the Cool Zone program. Aging & Independence Services partners with SDG&E to coordinate the Cool Zones, which are sites where older adults and others can go during hot summer days to avoid being affected by the heat. Cool Zone sites include libraries, senior centers, malls, and more. Cool Zones are also great places to meet people.The program also provides free electric fans to homebound, low-income seniors. The program is always interested in adding more Cool Zone sites. For more information, call (800) 510-2020....more
Be a Coach for a Foster Youth
... Life Skills Coaches are needed for the WAY (Workforce Academy for Youth) program which begins again in October. The WAY program offers emancipating foster youth a six-month internship with a County agency. Life Skills Coaches help the teens succeed at the internships, providing positive reinforcement, a listening ear, a sounding board and another viewpoint.
Free Fitness Classes for Your Brain
... Older adults are being recruited for a study using the Posit Science “Brain Fitness” and “InSight” computerized courses to improve cognitive abilities. The 12-week classes will be offered three afternoons a week for about an hour each, beginning in Spring 2010 (dates, locations and exact times still to be determined). Study participants should plan to attend all the classes. No computer experience is necessary. No names or personal information will be used in the study.
County Senior Health Report Online
... In 2005, some 3,736 San Diego County seniors (ages 65+) were hospitalized as a result of a fall. That same year, 125 seniors died with an underlying cause of a fall.
La Maestra Has Free Mammograms
... The La Maestra Family Health Center has partnered with Grossmont Imaging Center in La Mesa to provide free digital mammograms on the third Saturday of each month for uninsured and underinsured, low-income women ages 40 and older. To register or for more information, call Irene Lopez at (619) 972-4185.
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Vaccinate Against Shingles
... The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends that adults age 60 and older be vaccinated against shingles, a painful itching or tingling of the skin that is often followed by a painful skin rash of blister-like lesions, usually localized to a small area on one side of the body, and often the face or trunk. Pain can continue even after the rash has disappeared. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.
Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs.
Only a single dose of vaccine (Zostavax) is currently recommended. Zostavax does not treat shingles after the condition has developed.
Consult with your physician first, in case there is any medical reason not to take the vaccine. Generally, people with weakened immune systems due to cancer treatment, HIV disease or organ transplants should not receive the vaccine because it contains live, weakened viral particles. For more information call the County's Health Department immunization office at (619) 692-8661, or visit www.sdiz.org.
Fall Prevention Awareness Week
... As the Senior Health Report indicates above, falls can be life-altering, even fatal, and they are preventable. A combination of interventions has been found to significantly reduce the incidences of falls in older adults.
Program can cut your utility cost
... Do you use more electricity because of a health condition? Maybe you have a motorized wheelchair with a battery you need to charge. Or you use an oxygen concentrator. Or you need more heating or cooling than the average person because you have a compromised immune system. There are many physical reasons why people might use more electricity, which translates into higher energy bills.
‘Extra Help’ for Medication Costs
... With prescription drug costs increasing, many people are looking for ways to save on medications. There is a low-income subsidy available that can save you money if you qualify. Contact the nonprofit HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) for free assistance with the “Extra Help” program or other Medicare enrollment information. HICAP is administered by Elder Law and Advocacy. Call (800) 434-0222 for an appointment.
National Awards for Two Programs
... Two AIS programs have received Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The programs, Senior Expo: Protect Yourself & Your Wallet and the Intergenerational Dance program, are being recognized for their innovation.
Study on Seniors with Schizophrenia
... The Veterans Administration is enrolling people into a nondrug research study involving group therapy for older adults who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The study is open to non-veterans as well as veterans. Participants must be age 45 or older, have the appropriate diagnosis, be able to speak, read and write English fluently and be psychiatrically and medically stable. There is compensation of up to $280 for participating. For information, call (800) 331-8387, ext. 2275.
Web Site for Medicare Advocacy
... California Health Advocates is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Medicare advocacy and education for Californians. CHA’s Web site provides accurate, unbiased information about Medicare benefits, plus resources for professionals working with California’s Medicare beneficiaries. See www.cahealthadvocates.org, or you can call the main office in Sacramento, (916) 231-5110.
Home-Modification Aid Available
....People with disabilities who live in apartment complexes, rental housing or their own homes within the City of San Diego might be eligible for certain home-modification assistance up to $1,000 as part of Accessibility 1000, a program of Access to Independence and the Fair Housing Council of San Diego. Possible home modifications include ramps, widening doors, installation of grab bars, bathroom and kitchen improvements and more. Eligibility is limited to low- and moderate-income households. For more information and to apply, contact Access to Independence at (619) 293-3500.
HICAP Can Speak To Your Group
....Representatives from the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) can speak to your organization or club regarding Medicare and private insurance information, including the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. HICAP, administered by Elder Law and Advocacy, is a nonprofit funded by AIS and the California Department of Aging. HICAP does not sell or recommend any specific health insurance product. Call (800) 434-0222 to find out more.
Nursing Home Ombudsmen
....Ombudsmen Are Advocates For Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities. The County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is looking for volunteers to help safeguard the rights of residents in nursing homes and board and care facilities.