New Guidelines for CARE Program

By denise g nelesen, lcsw editor, County's Aging & Independence Services

To help lessen the impact of higher utility bills, the California Public Utilities Commission has again expanded eligibility for a program called CARE (California Alternative Rates for Energy). CARE provides a 20 percent discount on monthly energy bills for income-qualified households.
Seniors (and others) living alone or with another person can have a yearly maximum household income of $28,600 to qualify for CARE this year, up $900 from last year. The new guidelines for a household of three persons is $33,600 and under; the previous amount was $32,500.
Applications for the CARE program can be downloaded from the SDG&E Web site: , or call (800) 411-7343 and ask that an application be sent to you.


New Video on Fall Prevention

The AIS Fall Prevention task Force has just completed a video, "Don't Fall For It!" for use in presentations about preventing falls.When a frail older adult falls, the results can be life altering, even fatal. For people 75 or older, falls are the leading cause of injuries, including hip fractures and head trauma. Once hospitalized for a hip fracture, many never function well enough to live independently again.

The video talks about the risks of falling, plus steps to take to avoid falls. The video premiere was on Monday August 14, at Scripss Mercy Theather, 4077 Fifth Ave. in Hilcrest.

After the premiere, the video was air on the County Television Network (CTN).

For more on Fall Prevention,please check out for: "Remaining Safe from falls in our homes"

Section 8 Applications Online

The County's Department of Housing and Community Development has begun accepting online applications for section 8 Rental Assistance and the Public Housing Program. These programs assist low-income households.See the Web site: Applications continue to be accepted over the phone,as well, at (877)478-5478


Become an Ombudsman Volunteer

If you want to make a difference for elders,then attend an upcoming training toward becoming a state-certified Ombudsman.The Ombudsman office provides advocates for persons living in the long-term facilities of San Diego County.

Volunteers will be asked to make a minimum of a one year commitment. and be able to donate approximately five volunteer hours each week,plus attend a monthly team meeting.

Those who decide to continue to become Ombudsman volunteers will then attend a free,40-hour training that will prepare them on how to help residents,families and facilities.

For more information,contact Marilyn Driscoll at (858) 495-5378

More about volunteering below under MEDICARE brief

Seniors Mentor Stipend Opportunity

Come and share your joy of reading and crafts with children in emergency shelters. mentors aged 55 and older are needed to work with children 0-5 in the Chula Vista area.For 15 hours a week of service you will receive a $225 a month stipend. Contact the Life Options Office (619) 691-9774
If you are recently retired or about to retired? Volunteer in the Life Options Annex.We need volunteers to cover two-hour shifts.Call 619-691-9774 for more live alone?


Volunteers for Elder Abuse Project

Volunteers are being sought for a pilot project in the City of San Diego involving elder abuse victims. AIS is a partner in this project, along with law enforcement, SDSU, the District Attorney’s office and the Family Justice Center. For information, call Lyndsay Wolf at (619) 533-6045.

Nursing Home Rights Enforcement Project

The California Nursing Home residents Bill of Rights lists basic rights of adequate health care for persons residing in nursing homes. Elder Law Advocacy wants to give meaning to these words by enforcing these rights in nursing homes and,if necessary, in court.Call for a free appointment (858) 565-1392


Tune in AIS on Saturdays

For information about programs and services to benefit older adults, listen to the “In Focus” radio show at 10 a.m. each Saturday on AM 1700. Each week, Aging & Independence Services presents a different topic of interest for older adults and others. There will also be shows that feature other divisions of the County’s Health & Human Services Agency.


Medicare on Network of Care

The Network of Care Web site now includes a new Medicare section,offering information provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The section includes information about Medicare coverage choices, choosing a prescription drug plan, financial assistance, Medicare rights, and more.

To visit this new feature, go to the Network of Care - and click on "Library" icon at thee top of the network of Care home page, then click on "Medicare".You can provide any feedback about the Network of care using the "Feedback" button.


Volunteering Can Change Lives, Including Your Own

Chuck Boles, a former Marine and employee of the U.S. State Department, retired in 1990. He put away his weapons and now spends four days a week reading stories, putting puzzles together and wiping runny noses.
Boles has been volunteering with the Little Angels Learning Center in Escondido since his wife kicked him out of the house, telling him to go do something useful. He landed where he feels most useful.
"The first few days, the children viewed me with some suspicion…not only was I an unknown adult, but a male one at that," says Boles, who has no grandchildren of his own. "Over time, they came to accept me. ..



Do you know of other people who could benefit from the information provided in the Aging & Independence bulletin? Would they (or you) also like to be on our emailing list to receive notices of special items? If so, send mail and email to Denise Nelesen , 9335 Hazard Way, San Diego, CA 92123; or call (858) 505-6474


Salud+HealthInfo is for information and educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned abut your health or that of a child, please consult your family's physician or health provider immediately and do not try to diagnose yourself.

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