Up-dates for SENIORS
By Denise G. Nelesen, LCSW
Beat the Heat visiting a
...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
Become an Ombudsman Vounteer
... If you want to make a difference for elders, attend an upcoming training toward becoming a state-certified Ombudsman. The Ombudsman office provides advocates for persons living in the county’s long-term care facilities.
Foundation Suppports Legacy Corps
... The Gary and Mary West Foundation, a new local granting source interested in serving older adults in San Diego County, has announced a two-year grant totaling $330,000 to New Alternatives, Inc., the nonprofit organization managing the Legacy Corps program. ....The Legacy Corps program pairs senior mentors with teens to go into the homes of family caregivers and provide respite. This new funding will greatly expand the number of caregivers who can be helped throughout San Diego County. For more information about Legacy Corps, to seek help from the program or to volunteer, call (619) 615-0701.
Class on Managing Your Health Care
... Would you like to learn how to work better with your medical insurance plan, as well as your doctors and other health care providers? Do you want to know more about the health care options out there? A new course helps you learn to be a better health care consumer.
Homeowner and Renter Assistance
... It’s that time again to see if you are eligible for the Homeowner or Renter Assistance programs administered by the State Franchise Tax Board (FTB). The filing period for both programs began July 1 and runs through Oct. 15.
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.
An Award For Legacy Corps
....Aging & Independence Services’ Legacy Corps program, which pairs senior mentors with teens to provide respite for family caregivers, is receiving one of three national Awards of Excellence from the 2007 Older Volunteers Enrich America program sponsored by MetLife Foundation. The award program, administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), recognizes organizations nationwide for effective recruitment and engagement of older volunteers.
Intergenerational Games Recognized
....The County’s Intergenerational Games program has been selected to receive a Merit Award in the California State Association of Counties Challenge Award competition. The program was recognized for innovation and collaboration, as well as for the potential to replicate the program in other counties.
The CalWORKS Senior Mentor Program is BACK!
....We coach our families in job training, financial planning, time management and life skills. Senior Mentors meet the needs of the individual family by guiding them toward self-sufficiency through life sharing, community resources and support.
St. Paul’s Introduces P.A.C.E. Program
....St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services in San Diego has opened a new service called P.A.C.E. (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), which provides an individualized, coordinated set of medical and social services for seniors who meet certain criteria and wish to continue living in their own home or community (such as assisted living) despite chronic health needs. The PACE program becomes the sole source of services for Medicare and Medi-Cal eligible enrollees.
EXTRA HELP With Part D Costs
....To help people enroll in the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program, the Alliance Healthcare Foundation has awarded a two-year, $400,000 grant to the Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy, a program of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.
....If you’d like to find out distances to shops, restaurants, and services in your neighborhood, see www.walkscore.com and enter your home address. Include the city and ZIP code.
Electrical Repair Scam Is Costly
....The District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit and the Contractors State License Board are looking for people who may have been overcharged by a company called American Electric.
Local Prosecutor Testifies About ELDER ABUSE
....In July 2007, Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood went to Washington, D.C., to testify before the Senate Special Committee on Aging in support of Senate Bill 1577, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007, and in support of the Elder Justice Act. Greenwood is the chief of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit.
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.
Regular Medicare E mails Offered
....The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be offering a new email update service. Visitors to www.cms.hhs.gov and www.medicare.gov can sign up to receive free updates on topics related to Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), such as coverage information, new publications, press releases and more.
On Line Resource For Vision Problems
....Rates of vision loss from diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are expected to double as the nation’s baby boomers reach retirement age. To help address this growing public concern, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has launched the AFB Senior Site designed to help seniors losing their vision, their families and the professionals who serve them.
The When I'm 64 Campaign
....The Health Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), a division of Elder Law & Advocacy, will be offering an educational series, “When I’m 64,” throughout San Diego and Imperial counties to those who are planning for retirement and who want more information about Medicare and related health insurance issues. ..... ........... ....
Guidelines for Care program
....To help mitigate the impact of higher utility bills, the California Public Utilities Commission has a program called CARE (California Alternative Rates for Energy), which provides a 20 percent discount on monthly energy bills for income-qualified households.
Local HICAP events on web page
....Representatives from the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), a division of Elder Law & Advocacy, regularly give presentations about Medicare issues, health plans and other topics. Now HICAP has a new Web link to local events through the California Department of Aging Web site: www.aging.ca.gov. From the home page, scroll down to the Tool section and double click on the calendar next to the words “HICAP E-Calendar.” Select “Search by,” click on “County,” then go to “San Diego.”