“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”
~Winston Churchill


News: Area Senior Volunteers

Congratulations! The 2012 Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony on July 12, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers was a remarkable affair, recognizing eight “stalwart” county people for their work in 2011. Dorothy Edwards and Howard Hildreth were named Co-Volunteers of the Year and received plaques. The other nominees received certificates: Marguerite Johnson, Melina Cherling, Martha Cover, Patti Taylor-Welch, Jeanette Lambert, Jean Geritz, and Dorothy Brown.  Liz Bass, County Supervisor and liaison to the Commission, also stepped in to present Ms. Edwards with her plaque and to offer words of praise.  Cathie Peacock, commissioner with Tuolumne County Commission on Aging and chair of the Senior Volunteer of the Year committee had this to say: “It was a pleasure to see all the people who came to support and acknowledge the nominees and winners.  The nominees were warmly acknowledged, greatly appreciated for their work, and really represented a cross section of all the fine deeds that are done daily in our county.  There were close to 100 people in attendance, much lingering and picture taking after the awards were presented, and many [people] chatting with all the nominees and complimenting their selfless service.”

Another outstanding volunteer, Gerald Kahl, a retired attorney who was with the Public Defender’s office for many years (and former Tuolumne County Commission on Aging commissioner) is helping out with Legal Advocacy for Seniors, funded by Catholic Charities, Area 12, and other groups.  Jerry, as he is known, was recently recognized for his work in an article by Lenore Rutherford in the Union Democrat.  If you need help with your legal issues, are 60 or over, and you qualify, Legal Advocacy for Seniors is open for business without an appointment between 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesdays, 1 and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, at the Catholic Charities office at 14855 Mono Way, Suite 103, Sonora.  Services are also available at the TuolumneCountySeniorCenter on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and noon.  The Center is at 540 Greenley Road, Sonora. Call them at: 209.588.1597

Jots & Thoughts…
by Roberta Goodwin

Matthew Personius, MD, a local physician (head coach of the water polo programs at Sonora High School), was recently featured in the July 16 “Ask a Doctor” section of the UD.  Dr.  Personius wrote a piece called “Aging with Grace,” which offered up some interesting bits of information. Among other things, he maintains that although there are “normal signs of aging,” not everyone ages in the same way.  Vision, declining muscle mass, “thinning of cortical bone” (also known as bone loss), rising blood pressure (hypertension) and prostate enlargement in men, are common attributes affected by the aging process.  Dr. Personius, a family practice physician, specializes in care for the elderly with his practice “Sierra Housecalls Medical group Inc.”  A remarkable doctor, he recognizes the difficulty for some seniors in getting themselves to an office appointment, so as the name implies, he makes house calls to homebound seniors.  We’re lucky to have him in this rural area.

Save the dates!!!!

2012 Centenarian Awards ~The 2012 Centenarian Awards ceremony is scheduled for October 24, 11AM – 12PM, Tuolumne County Senior Center. Don’t miss this opportunity to honor our community’s Centenarian Society members and meet the County’s newest residents reaching the 100 years young milestone.

“Legal Matters” updated July, 2012

Here are some of the matters affecting seniors that the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging is currently following and concerned with (but NOT necessarily endorsing – see our disclaimer at the bottom of our blog).

1. Silver Alert SB 38: proposed by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) – was recently passed… Almost 600,000 individuals in California have Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, that number will grow to more than 1.1 million by 2030, and 6 in 10 people with Alzheimer’s will wander away from their homes or care facilities at some point. People with Alzheimer’s often lose their cognitive ability to remember when to eat and drink or protect themselves from extreme weather. Silver Alert would be similar to the successful Amber Alert program for children. More on it from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_AlertA Silver Alert is a public notification system in the United   States to broadcast information about missing persons – especially seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other mental disabilities – in order to aid in their return. Silver Alerts use a wide array of media outlets—such as commercial radio stations, television stations, and cable TV—to broadcast information about missing persons. Silver Alerts also use variable-message signs on roadways to alert motorists to be on the lookout for missing seniors.

2. SB 810: as per – http://www.democraticunderground.com/101440504 As of Tuesday Jan 31, 2012 “Today SB 810, “Medicare for All” single payer legislation, was killed on the California Senate Floor. More about the bill from this website: http://californiaonecare.org/learn-more/sb-810/sb-810-overview

3. AB 1525: Financial Elder Abuse: Money Transmitters sponsored by Assembly member Michael Allen)… This bill requires that money wire transfer services be included in the definition of mandatory reporters of suspected financial elder abuse.

4. AB 2374: sponsored by Assembly member Roger Hernandez. Prohibits a consumer credit card reporting agency from charging a person who is 65 years old or older a fee when placing a security freeze on his or her credit report.

5. AB 1648: Brownley: The California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, ftp://leginfo.public.ca.gov/pub/03-04/bill/sen/sb_1601-1650/sb_1648_cfa_20040618_120723_asm_comm.html

Did YOU Know?… For your better living…

1. “Clean Up Day Coupon Program” ~ Are you struggling with disposal issues of large items, or multiple bags of trash and items that need to go to the dump?  I called Waste Management.  I have an old bench on my deck that’s too heavy and too broken down to be useful to someone else, or perhaps set out on my street with a “FREE!” sign.  They said if one has “curbside service” (read: pays a monthly fee) to come on in to the office on Camage and pick up “coupons”… Oh! So I did that and yippee!  I can  haul – or have someone else – this bench to the transfer station and there will be no charge!  Yay.   Goodbye, bench.

2. Area 12 Agency on Aging ~This agency’s helpful staff provides services to more than 11,000 seniors in five counties: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne. Services include information and assistance, caregiver support, nutrition, fitness, Medicare counseling and much more. The agency is headquartered in Sonora, at 19074 Standard Rd. Contact Area 12 at (209) 532-6272 or (800) 510-2020, www.area12.orgT’is the Season: one of Area 12’s season appropriate services is help with fire clearance.  Call 532-6272 and ask about their “Chore” program, or ask them in general how they can help you with your other living challenges.

3. PG&E’s low-income program ~ PG&E has a low-income program called “The Energy Savings Assistance Program” and they partner locally with Sears to bring new refrigerators to folks. According to an installer I talked to named “Mike” … he and his crew make about 10 stops a day in the county to bring free brand-new refrigerators. His clients run to – he estimates – about 70% seniors. As part of the program, the crew even picks up their old refrigerators (and refurbishes/recycles them). The service area extends from Mi-Wuk to Riverbank, more or less, as he explained. Other features of the program include what they term “Improvements to your house, apartment or mobile home including compact fluorescent lights, caulking, showerheads, minor home repair and more.” To find out more about the program and whether you’re eligible, or if someone you KNOW is eligible, go to: http://www.pge.com/myhome/customerservice/financialassistance/energysavingsassistanceprogram call or call 800-989-9744.

4. Senior Services Directory ~ Pick up this handy 24-page guide to local senior services at the sheriff’s Community Service Unit office in The Junction Shopping Center. Published by the nonprofit Senior Resource Service (SRS), it includes contact information for everything from health care and housing to transportation and emergency services – “anything a senior might need,” says Judy Finley, SRS president. A complete version of the directory (61 pages) is available online at the Friends and Neighbors website, http://www.tcfan.net, under the home-page link titled “Resources.”

5. REACH” or “Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help is a program provided by PG&E and administered by the Salvation Army to help folks with delinquent electricity bills. This from Catherine Driver: “We are working with our local Salvation Army to provide help to elders in need of assistance with their PG&E bills. We will be helping those 62 and over while Salvation Army will work with those under 62. (We will help in the case of a participant in the OE program, regardless of age.) Our part, like the Salvation Army’s, is to assist in filling out the needed paperwork and making sure all appropriate paperwork is included (i.e. PG&E bills, proof of age, etc.). We then call PG&E to make the ‘pledge’ and then fax the paperwork to Salvation Army inSan Francisco. We can be reached at 532-7632 and Salvation Army can be reached at 588-1986. Catherine Driver, Engagement Coordinator, Older Adult Outreach &Engagement Program.” 7. Minor Home Repair ~ Area 12 Agency on Aging offers a program for eligible county seniors “designed to assist seniors over 60 who have home repair problems they cannot resolve which threaten health & safety.” To be eligible, you must: be 60 years of age or older; reside in Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Mariposa Counties; live in your own home. Typical repairs include… (among others) hard to turn faucets; leaky toilets; door knob repair; install grab bars; repair doors and windows; ramp repair. Call Area 12 Today for more information on how you can arrange for needed home repairs 209-532-6272… Or go to: http://www.area12.org/support.aspx. Also, you can view their website at: http://www.area12.org/

In future, we will blog with even more information on matters of interest to county seniors so stay tuned! And please feel free to let us know YOUR ideas for events or forums that you want to see!We actively solicit your comments. You may contact the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging by email at aging2010@gmail.com

To go to: Area 12 Agency on Aging’s website, go here: http://www.area12.org/

Little House website, go here: http://thelittlehouse.org

Friends and Neighbors website go here:http://seniorfan.com

THANK YOU for reading our blog! … Editor Roberta Goodwin (Comments are closed)

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