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



West Nile Hits Close to Home


Volunteering Can Change Lives, Including Your Own


Chula Vista Police Department's Senior Volunteer Patrol Honored


Mentoring Foster Teens to Independence

Local Nutrition Centers Promote Healthy Eating


Helping You Decide What Might Be Helpful


Helping Homeless Seniors Off the Streets


Alzheimer's is Not a Normal Part of Aging





"Undue Influence" Victims of harmful Persuasion


Elder Abuse is a Worldwide Problem


Partners in the Fight Against Financial Abuse


DA Elder Abuse

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Up-dates for SENIORS

By Denise G. Nelesen, LCSW

Cool ZoneDenise Nelesen

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 & Supervisor Dianne Jacob handing out Popsicles.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.
....There will be two orientations about this volunteer opportunity before you sign up for the training. The orientations will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at the County Training & Development Center, 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite G, in San Diego.
....Volunteers will be asked to make a minimum of a one-year commitment and donate approximately five volunteer hours each week, plus attend periodic team meetings.
After the orientation sessions, those who decide to become Ombudsman volunteers will then attend a 40-hour certification training between Sept. 8 to 23 to prepare them to help residents, families and facilities.
....To register for an orientation session, or for more information, call the Ombudsman Office at (858) 560-2507.

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.
....“Manage Your Health and the Ever-Changing Health Care System” will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. each Thursday at the College Avenue Senior Center, 4855 College Ave., San Diego 92115. The class is presented by AIS, AARP and Continuing Ed, San Diego Community College District. There is no fee and you can register when you attend the class. For more information, call (619) 388-1833.

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.
.....The homeowner assistance program allows a once-a-year payment from the state to qualified persons based on part of the property taxes paid on their homes. A “home” is not just a house, but a condo or mobile home. Eligible homeowners may receive up to 139 percent of the property taxes paid in 2007 on the first $34,000 of the full value of the home. The amount a claimant may be eligible for ranges from $19.72 to $472.60.
To qualify, you must be at least age 62 or blind or disabled as of Dec. 31, 2007, and have a maximum total household income of $44,096 or less. You also must have lived in the home that you owned as of Dec. 31, 2007, and be a U.S. citizen, designated alien or qualified alien when the claim is filed. Only one homeowner from each household is entitled to the assistance each year. Married couples living in the same home can only file one claim.

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

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.
...The Legacy Corps was selected for this honor because its “practices in recruitment, training, retention and recognition of older volunteers set a standard of practice for others,” according to the n4a press release.
...The program is recruiting senior mentors, plus teens and young adults, for its fourth year, which begins April 5. Benefits to the team members include a monthly living allowance of $200, an educational award of $1,250 for a year of service, an opportunity to continue learning, and the chance to make a difference for caregivers and older adults.
....The program is part of a national project with the University of Maryland Center on Aging and AIS. San Diego is one of nine sites for this international initiative. AIS partners with New Alternatives, Inc., to coordinate the program.
To find out additional information about the Legacy Corps and/or to volunteer, contact New Alternatives at (619) 253-5155.

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.
....Intergenerational Games pairs older adults and youngsters together to promote healthy, active lifestyles. Teams earn points through a number of physical and mental challenges, and everyone wins with medals awarded to all participants.

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.
We are taking applications for senior mentors interested in being a job & life-skill coach for people currently enrolled in Cal-WORKS.
• Must be 55 or over & have a reliable car
• 20 hours per week • $12.50 per hour (Plus mileage) • Our clients are families (single parents or couples with children) throughout San Diego County who currently receive aid. For more information, please contact: Connie Joy Senior Mentor Program Coordinator 619-582-9133

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.
....Participants receive primary medical care and may also receive specialty care, such as dental, podiatry and optometry, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapies, if needed. They are also eligible for dietary counseling, adult day services, medical equipment and supplies, and prescription drug coverage. Added to this mix are social services, including home care assistance. Transportation to the PACE center and to medical appointments is also included.
....Individuals qualify if they are age 55 and older, live within an 8-mile radius of the PACE site (111 Elm St. #100, San Diego, 92101), and need the level of care provided in a nursing home but are still able to live in a community setting without jeopardizing their health or safety.
Because PACE becomes the primary medical care provider, participants need to change medical care providers.

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.
....In San Diego County, there are still an estimated 12,000 individuals who are eligible but have not yet enrolled in the Low-Income Subsidy (also known as “Extra Help”), which helps cover costs of the Part D prescription drug plans. The Consumer Center’s assistance includes helping consumers determine which drug plans are the best match for them.
....For more information on applying for Extra Help, call (877) 734-3258, ext. 2650 or see

Walkable Neighborhoods

....If you’d like to find out distances to shops, restaurants, and services in your neighborhood, see 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.
Recently Paul Greenwood, who heads up the DA unit, has become aware of several elderly homeowners who saw an ad in the Yellow Pages and called for electrical repair service after having difficulties with a power outage. In most cases, the only problem was a tripped circuit breaker, usually an easy fix. The “technician” who responds may suggest that the panel of circuit breakers needs a “tune up” and may charge between $1,100 and $1,800 for that service.
....The Yellow Pages ad may have different company names, but ultimately someone from American Electric responds. If you have received such a home call and believe that you may have overpaid American Electric, Paul Greenwood would like to hear from you. He can be reached at (619) 531-3464.

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.
....Senate Bill 1577 would establish a nationwide system of background checks to prevent those with criminal and elder abuse histories from being hired in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The legislation is modeled on a successful seven-state pilot program that linked state and federal registries with a federal criminal background check to screen out potentially harmful employees.
....The pilot program, now completed, identified and excluded more than 5,000 individuals with criminal histories from working in long-term care facilities in those seven states.
....“We should be very concerned at the fact that convicted felons can easily get employment working as caregivers,” Greenwood told the Senate committee. “Surely, more can be done to protect the unsuspecting public from hiring felons to look after an aging relative. Additionally, we should evaluate whether state laws relating to physical and financial elder abuse are correctly earmarked as felonies rather than as misdemeanors.”
....He also urged passage of the Elder Justice Act, which would create a greater nationwide awareness of elder abuse including funding for Adult Protective Services.
He talked about the many collaborations among law enforcement and social services agencies in San Diego County and suggested other communities throughout the country should consider developing similar projects, such as the Elder Death Review Team, the Financial Abuse Specialist Team, and specialized police units devoted to elder abuse crimes.

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.
.....Ombudsman volunteers advocate for the quality of life and quality of care for long-term care residents. They also maintain a regular presence in more than 675 skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities for the elderly in San Diego County.
To obtain additional information, call (858) 560-2507 or (800) 640-4661.
.............................................................More about Ombudsmen program

Regular Medicare E mails Offered

....The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be offering a new email update service. Visitors to and 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 site has photos, videos, articles and resource links to enhance the independence of older adults beginning to experience vision loss. Visitors will also find inspiring messages from other seniors who have been recently diagnosed with eye diseases. Visit

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.
....Seniors (and others) living alone or with another person can have a yearly maximum household income of $28,600 to qualify for CARE. The guidelines for a household of three persons is $33,600 and under.
...You can apply online or download the application for CARE from the SDG&E Web site:, or call (866) 429-3603 for more information.

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: 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.”
...If you would like to request a HICAP presentation for your organization or residents, contact Jean Soderberg, Community Education Specialist, at (858) 565-8772.


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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