Every Ten Years the White House Host a The White house Conference on Aging. Below is a link that will take you to the Final Report.
The White House Conference on Aging, a decennial event, has been confirmed for Monday, July 13, 2015 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST. This Conference will include an event in Washington D.C. with limited attendance and ‘watch’ sites throughout the Nation.
“Three ‘watch’ sites are planned for the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties area”, announced Amy Mallett, Chair, Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council. “These ‘watch’ sites will be live-streamed and provide an opportunity to share our ideas and inputs as well as promote local conversation about the issues of aging.”
“Cosponsoring these ‘watch’ sites are the Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County departments of Social Services”, continued Ms. Mallett. “In preparation for the White House Conference on Aging we held a local public forum to gather inputs. These inputs were sent to the White House Conference on Aging and a short report was prepared.”
“ These ‘watch’ sites are open to all interested persons,” continued Ms. Mallett. “Bring your ideas to improve the quality of life for older adults. The WHCOA has identified four common themes: Retirement Security, Healthy Aging, Long Term services and supports and Elder Justice. Based on the local public forum we added a fifth theme of Family Caregiver.”
“This AAA urges that the WHCOA strongly advocate for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act,” stated joyce ellen lippman, Area Agency on Aging Director. “The Older Americans Act is the foundation of home and community based services that facilitate aging- in- place. The Act hasn’t been reauthorized in a timely fashion and a bill (S.192) is now in the Senate to accomplish reauthorization.”
Local Watch Sites
The three ‘watch’ sites will be held beginning at 7 a.m. at:
In San Luis Obispo City:
County Department of Social Services, 3433 S. Higuera St., Room 101
In Santa Barbara City:
Santa Barbara Foundation, 1111 Chapala St., Suite 200
In Santa Maria:
Area Agency on Aging, 528 S. Broadway
“Join us for the entire day or several hours”, continued Ms. Mallett. “Come share in the conversation with local colleagues.”
For more information contact Mrs. lippman at 805-925-9555 or 1-800-510-2020.
Use the form below to request information by mail.
Click on the link below for locations and phone numbers to make your appointment today. For more information give us a call at (805) 928-2552
From Paul Greenwood, Deputy District Attorney and Head of Elder Abuse Prosecutions for San Diego County’s District Attorney’s Office:
A few weeks ago I shared the story about the mother of a former prosecutor colleague who had been scammed out of over $60,000 – after believing that her grandson was in a South American jail.
My office is aggressively investigating this case – and we have already executed at least ten search warrants.
In the meantime the victim has been courageous enough to go on camera and relate her experience…
Here it is…
The Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens is releasing a new Emergency Survival Guide for Older Adults. The guide provides information about things seniors can do to stay safe before, during and after major emergencies like fires, earthquakes and tsunami’s. As with all of the services provided by the Central Coast Commission for senior citizens, the information is free.
The Guide has updated information including registering for Reverse 911 Alerts. “Many emergency agencies are turning to the Internet and smart phone apps to get information out in the event of a major emergency. While more seniors are able to get information through Twitter and Facebook, close to 100% can benefit from Reverse 911.” said Jim Talbott, President, Board of Directors.
The Guide includes information on emergency radio stations, creating a survival kit and setting up evacuation plans. “Seniors are vulnerable in times of disaster.” declared Talbott. “We want to give them practical information to help them stay safe in an emergency.”
If you would like to have multiple copies to distribute to your group, or community contact Senior Connection by phone at 800-510-2020
The Board of Directors of the
Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens
cordially invite you to attend its
Friday, March 13th, 2015-10AM to 2PM
Santa Maria Inn
Keynote Presentation by:
Ms. Sandy Markwood, Executive Director
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Aging Public Policy: Past, Present and Future
Hosted Buffet Luncheon
Luncheon Presentation by:
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian
Senior Citizen Issues – A State Perspective
Door Prizes & Wine Bar
Hosted by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens
This scam has been around for a while.
Recently, we have received reports of it happening to senior citizens on the central coast.
Here is how the scam works:
People reported receiving a voicemail urging them to return a call to an 809 area code phone number. The unsuspecting victims return the call only to hear a pre-recorded message. In the phone bill the next month, they were charge an excessive amount (some times more that $1,000 per minute) for the call to the Dominican Republic.
What can you do:
Some callers may be able to get the charge resolved, but it often takes several months. The following tips are from an article from the AT&T website
AT&T recommends the following tips to help avoid the 809 area code scam:
- Return calls to familiar numbers only. As a general rule, return calls from numbers that contain familiar or recognizable area codes. You may call your directory assistance or long distance operator to check the area code location.
- Carefully read your telephone bill. Make sure that you only receive charges from your provider of choice. Ensure you thoroughly understand charges listed on your phone bill, have chosen to do business with all of the listed providers billing for those charges and have authorized additional fees invoiced. If your local service provider has changed, you will receive a final bill from the former provider and a notice of service disconnection.
If you believe that you have been scammed:
- Contact the carrier with whom the charge originated, whose name and toll-free telephone number should be printed on the same bill page as the charge in question. Often, the problem can be resolved with a single phone call.
- If the carrier with whom the charge originated does not agree to resolve the problem, contact AT&T. AT&T will work with you and the carrier to help remove fraudulent charges from the phone bill.
Senior Connection can help with information and referrals to help prevent and resolve scams. Contact us today.
Nominations for Older Americans Month Awards is due by April 27th, 2015
Senior Citizen of the Year
Senior Citizen Program of the Year
Public Official of the Year
Media Advocate of the Year
Caregiver of the Year
Older Worker of the Year
Intergenerational Effort of the Year
Download the Nomination forms here:
This question is frequently asked by people who contact the Senior Connection Program. It may come from a frail senior overwhelmed by the constant challenge of determining whether an envelope is a bill, an important notice or a cleverly disguised advertisement. It also comes from family members concerned about an elderly relative who has stopped paying bills or whose money seems to be disappearing. The callers can see the problem, but are left asking “Where can we find help?”
Unfortunately, there are not “one size fits all” answers. The right solution will depend on the person’s condition, personal preferences, their support network and access to financial resources.
The following list of terms can be helpful for people in the process of looking for help.
Daily money management-
Daily money management is the service of ensuring timely payment of bills, maintaining a budget and protecting a senior from fraud and financial abuse.
Who can help with this?
Non professional assistance- Trusted family members and friends often take on this role. Though it is not required by law, formalizing the role with a written agreement that outlines tasks and responsibilities is helpful for everyone involved. Power of attorneys and living trusts are example of these types of agreements (see more below).
Looking for information to help a non professional financial caregiver:
Professional bookkeeper- A bookkeeper keeps records of financial transactions, prepares necessary payments, and can provide budget reports. This service can be an ideal solution for a person who is capable of understanding and monitoring their financial situation, but may have trouble with the details. This service may be offered by a large accounting firm or a small private practice. In California, a bookkeeper does not require a special license to have a private practice.
Professional Fiduciary Services- These services are provided by a licensed professional for people in a conservatorship or under a durable power of attorney for health care or finances. They manage matters for individuals including daily care, housing and medical needs, and also offer financial management services ranging from basic bill paying to estate and investment management. In California, professional fiduciary services can only be provided by a licensed professional. (Family members and people providing services for less than 2 persons are exempt). The following are common credentials considered appropriate for operating a professional fiduciary service:
- Licensed Professional Fiduciary
- Bar License (Lawyer)
- Certified Public Accountant
- See More
Representative Payee– A representative payee is a person designated by the Social Security Department to receive and manage Social Security benefits for a person incapable of managing the benefit on their own. More information on representative payees. Social Security does not honor power of attorney documents.
It is appropriate to ask anyone (even family or friends) who has the responsibility of managing finances to complete a background check. There are a number of tools to help consumers, preform background checks:
This service provides advice to people about managing their investments and plans for retirement. Often they advise on the purchase of investments including securities and other properties.
Who can help with this?
Professional financial planners/ advisers–
The professional helps you to:
1. Clarify your present situation through collecting and assessing all relevant financial data such as all assets, liabilities, insurance coverage, wills, etc.
2. Identify both personal and financial goals and objectives.
3. Identify financial problems which create obstacles to you reaching your goals and objectives.
4. Provide a written plan and course of action.
5. Implement or coordinate the implementation of the strategy you decide is best to reach your goals.
The professional may coordinate the implementation of your plan with other professional advisers.
6. Periodically review your plan to assure you that it is making progress toward the attainment of your goals.
Unfortunately there are too many designations to list, and no objective criteria to evaluate different types of financial advisers. The following resources can help you to make sense of the different credentials for financial professional.
From the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA)- Certification comparison tool to help figure out what the letter on the end of an advisers title mean
From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)- A report on Senior Designations
The following links are resources to help consumers make choices about financial planning.
From the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Investment Adviser Public Disclosure
Important Legal Terms for Financial Management
The following terms relate to legal roles that are part of a discussion about managing someone else’s money.
Power of Attorney– This is a document that grants authority of one person to another person (called the attorney in fact or agent under power of attorney) to make decisions and execute financial transactions. The attorney in fact has a legal duty to act under the direction of or in best interest of the granting person. Durable Power of Attorneys are documents that state that the agent retains the authority granted in the document in the event that the granting individual becomes incapacitated. See information about durable power of attorney for health care and advanced health care directives.
Trustee- A trustee is a person or entity granted authority by a trust to manage assets. Successor Trustee– A successor trustee is a person designated to assume the role of trustee if and when the primacy trustee is unable or unwilling to perform the role.
Conservatorship– A conservatorship is established when a probate court determines that a person does not have the capacity for decision making. In a conservatorship the court appoints a conservator to act as the guardian for the incapacitated persons estate (property) and/or person (the incapacitated persons health and physical welfare).
Who can help me find the resources that are right for me?
Senior Connection can help with information and referrals for people facing decisions related to managing finances as well as other matters faced by senior citizens, their loved ones and caregivers.
Advance Health Care Directive
An Advance Health Care Directive is a legally recognized document that allows a person to provide information to your family, friends and physician(s) about your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or do not want at the end of your life. The advanced health care directive document is meant to be completed by anyone 18 years of age or older and it can be changed at any time, should one’s wishes change.
You can give specific instructions about any aspect of your health care. Along with documenting the type of care you wish to receive, you are also able to to appoint another person as your ‘health care power of attorney’ to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make your own decisions. You can name an alternate agent in case your first choice is unwilling, unable or unavailable to make decisions for you.
POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
POLST is a form that states what kind of medical treatment patients want toward the end of their lives. Printed on bright pink paper, and signed by both a doctor and patient, POLST helps give seriously ill patients more control over their end-of-life care.
Changes to the California POLST Form were approved by the statewide POLST Task Force and the Emergency Medical Services Authority Commission. The new form went into effect on October 1, 2014. Previous versions of signed POLST forms remain valid. View Form on line.
Want to get copies of either form?
Share your input with Congresswoman Lois Capps and help shape the agenda for the upcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging! [Read more…]
Many seniors are uncomfortable with using legal services. Some fear the high cost. Others have a hard time understanding legal processes. There are resources for seniors needing legal help. The following are different types of legal resources available for free or low cost.
Justice without an attorney
Not every case requires Perry Mason. There are many tools available for the average citizen to resolve a dispute or take legal actions without representation form an attorney. Self representation, alternative dispute resolution and legal advocacy resources are sufficient for many issues that people face.
Self Help Legal Resources
People who want to represent themselves in a legal matter have a couple of resources at their disposal. For disputes resulting in damages of less than $7,500, small claims court is a venue to get before a judge without an attorney. Small claims court advisors (SLO and Santa Barbara County) can help with filing the appropriate forms and understanding small claims proceedings for any novice.
Each county (SLO and Santa Barbara) has a law library where a person can research legal issues and get assistance from the clerk in finding information on any legal topic. These libraries are open to the public. In Santa Barbara County the law libraries have an additional resource to help with self-representation called the Legal Resource Center. During certain hours an attorney employed by the center provides first come first serve legal advice at the law library at no cost.
Some disputes can be resolved without an attorney. One method is mediation. It is particularly helpful when all sides agree to participate. Mediation can be used to successfully resolve consumer, family, and landlord tenant disputes. Each county’s District Attorney’s office has a consumer mediation program (SLO and Santa Barbara) to help resolve disputes between businesses and customers. This is a great tool for someone who may have been taken advantage of by a misleading sales offer or an unscrupulous contractor. Many of the Boards and Bureaus of the California Department of Consumer Affairs offer consumers assistance in resolving disputes with businesses under their license. Click here to find out more about the Department of Consumer Affairs. In addition to these resources, both counties have non profit organizations (SLO and Santa Barbara) that offer mediation services for a variety of disputes. Mediation services typically cost a fraction of what one might pay in attorney fees.
Estate Planning services are rarely offered for free or at a reduced rate. The best way to save money is to do as much as you can yourself. For example, there are many free forms and seminars on how to complete an Advanced Health Care Directive for yourself. For people with simple estate plans the California Bar website has a standardized will form that you can use to draft a will. The bar also has several publications that can help you understand the different estate planning options like trusts and wills. Knowing what you want can help you save money when you finally sit down with an attorney.
If you have any questions about local resources for legal issues call us– we can help you find the right resources for you.
With the summer driving season upon us, the Senior Connection program is highlighting senior safe driving resources. The following resources can help seniors cope with driving issues.
AARP Smart Driver Course
For years AARP has offered a course for senior drivers wanting to brush up on their driving knowledge and get a discount on their auto insurance. The course covers new laws and defensive driving techniques with the focus on senior driver safety issues. Courses are available throughout the year in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. For more information call the Senior Connection Program.
DMV Programs For Safe Driving
The DMV has two programs to promote safe driving.
The Potentially Unsafe Driver Report allows any person to report drivers who they believe to be potentially unsafe due to a physical or mental condition. Once the report is received the DMV evaluate the claim and can call the driver in for a re-evaluation of his/ her driving skills.
The DMV also has the Senior Ombudsman Program to help seniors who have lost or may be at risk of losing a drivers license. The Senior Ombudsman helps seniors to navigate the system from re-evaluation and appeals and can help the senior identify resources to cope with the loss of driving privileges.
For more information on these programs or to discuss resources for a specific senior, contact the Senior Connection Program.
The Advisory Council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging (AAA), voted at its June 13th meeting to support H.R. 1173, a federal legislative proposal cosponsored by Congresswoman Lois Capps.
“The Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council voted to support H.R. 1173,” stated Amy Mallett, Chair, AAA Advisory Council. ‘The members believe that this proposal will be beneficial for Medicare beneficiaries because it may encourage the important conversation about end of life and end of life options.’
“Known as ‘Personalize Your Care Act’ this proposal will cover a voluntary consultation regarding advance health care planning”, continued Ms. Mallett. “This proposal would provide an optional consultation between the individual and a practitioner (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) regarding advance health care planning. This Council strongly supports the conversation and the use of advance health care directives.” “In addition, this proposal requires under Medicare that an advance health care directive validity executed outside the state in which the directive is presented must be given effect by a provider or an organization to the same extent as an advance directive validly executed under the la of the state in which it is presented,” continued Ms. Mallett. “We voted to support this legislation because it may provide an Medicare beneficiary the confidence to know that their wishes will be honored.” “The Council is also grateful to note that our local congressperson, Lois Capps, is a cosponsor of this important legislation,” concluded Ms. Mallett.
“The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Advisory Council advocates on behalf of older persons,” stated Karen O’Neil, President of the Commission Board of Directors. “Members of the Board of Directors appreciate that the Council members study the issues and advocate to protect senior citizens.”
For additional information contact Amy Mallett, Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council Chair, or Mrs. lippman, AAA Director, at 925-9554 or 1-800-510-2020.
The following myths often come up when people are considering care options for themselves or a loved one. Knowing the facts can save time, money and unnecessary frustration.
Myth #1. Medicare covers home care
THE FACTS: Medicare (as well as Medicare supplements and other private health insurance plans) does not cover non medical in home care. Some of this confusion come from the fact that Medicare will cover limited skilled nursing (home health) services in the home. For example: Medicare will cover a physical therapist to come to your home 1 hour a week and help you regain mobility so that you can stand to make dinner, take a shower, etc. It will not pay for some one to help you prepare meals, take a shower or clean your house while you are rehabbing at home. Read more about the differences between home care and home health care.
Myth #2. A home care company with a license has met standards for quality of care, proof of liability coverage and ethical business practices.
THE FACTS:All a licensed home care business has done is pay the business license fee to a local authority (city or county). Home care companies are not required by law to meet any standard for liability insurance coverage, employee training, background checks, or standardized business practices. Most of the responsibility for vetting companies fall on the consumer. See our Hiring In Home Help Guide for more information on finding a good caregiving company.
COMING SOON_California passed the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act of 2013 which will require caregivers and caregiving companies to meet guidelines for hiring, liability insurance coverage and training. The implementation has been delayed until Jan 2016.
Myth #3. I can hire my caregiver as an independent contractor and just give them a 1099 at the end of the year.
THE FACTS: If you pay a caregiver more than $30 hours a week, there is a very good chance that the law considers your caregiver an employee. As an employer you have a responsibility to follow all applicable labor laws and regulations including: paying FICA, providing paid breaks and unpaid lunch periods, accurately tracking hours worked, paying overtime, paying workers compensation if there is an on the job injury. Failure to do so can result in back payment and civil penalties. See the following publications for more information on your legal responsibilities
Myth #4. If I can easily hire a live in caregiver. It is less expensive.
THE FACTS: Live in caregiving usually creates a complicated legal relationship between the caregiver and the care receiver (employer, roommate and landlord). When things don’t go as planned it can be a nightmare to resolve (see the recent case in the news as an example). There are ways to establish a live in caregiving situation that avoids these pitfalls, but it requires research and a good understanding of the law (or an attorney). The law also requires that caregivers be paid for every hour they are available for work. (Domestic Worker’ Wage and Hour Rights) With recent changes to the laws regarding overtime payment, here are the minimum costs for the associated work hour arrangements.
|Arrangements||Per month||Meals and lodging deducted||Price per day|
|5 days a week 12 available hours||$3218.40||$2543.19||$121.10|
|7 days a week 12 available hours||$4773.60||$4098.39||$195.16|
|5 days a week 24 available hours||$7106.40||$6431.19||$306.25|
|7 days a week 24 available hours||$10216.80||$9541.59||$454.36|
Myth #5. I will lose my independence if I get a caregiver
THE FACTS: Home care is a tool for retaining independence and quality of life. In home care is for people who need some assistance to remain independent, safe and happy in their homes. It can feel a little uncomfortable getting assistance with tasks a senior has always done for his or herself, but the senior is the supervisor and the caregiver is the employee.
Resources for finding home care
Questions about care options
Many people use the terms home care and home health care interchangeably. However, the terms refer to two distinct types of services.
Home Care (also called homemaker services, personal care or custodial care) is non-medical in home assistance. It includes tasks like companionship, housekeeping, assistance with transportation, hygiene, toileting and more. Currently, caregivers are not required by law to have any special training or meet any criteria other than those specified by the employer (new state regulations are expected to start Jan 2016). The training and certification programs for Certified Nurses Assistants (CNA) are applicable to many of the tasks performed by in home caregivers. These services are not covered by Medicare, Medicare supplements or any other health insurance plans. They may be covered under a long term care insurance policy.
Home Health Care
Home Health Care (also called Skilled Nursing) is medical assistance in the home. This includes services that must be performed by trained medical personnel including injections, wound care, physical therapy, medical hospice care, etc. It does not include assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, housekeeping, etc). Home Health Care Companies must be licensed by the state and the personnel must keep up their individual professional licenses. These services can be covered for short periods of time by Medicare and other health insurance plans. Insurance covered services are usually available as part of a hospital discharge plan and last for a month.
Questions about care options
The following article provides great information on a topic many people struggle with: A loved one with dementia who refuses the assistance they need. Thanks to Luciana Cramer from the Alzheimer’s Association for writing it and sharing it in the Caregiver Tips& Tools newsletter. To read the article click on the picture below.
The onset of the fire season on the Central Coast is a reminder that everyone should be prepared for a disaster. This issue provides information about resources for seniors on the Central Coast for:
- Getting early warning and ongoing information on local and statewide disasters
- Tips and resources for being prepared for a disaster
A disaster by its very nature is unpredictable and disruptive, but taking the precautions suggested by the resources in this email can help limit the impact on senior citizens.
Getting Information on Disasters
There are several resources available to provide warnings and information on disasters:
InciWeb-is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. From the website people can get information on ongoing disasters as it is reported by the responding agencies.
Reverse 911– Sheriff’s Office dispatch facility has the capacity to inform the public directly by sending a phone message to each land line phone in the county to inform persons of evacuation orders, missing persons, Amber Alerts, etc.
American Red Cross. – At the agency’s website people can sign up to receive email disaster alerts and other helpful updates.
Diablo Canyon Warning Siren-San Luis Obispo County’s Early Warning System Sirens would sound to alert area residents and visitors to tune to a local radio or television station for information. The sirens alert you that an emergency is taking place within the County and possibly at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. There are 131 sirens located in Protective Action Zones 1 through 12, stretching from Cayucos in the north to Nipomo Mesa in the south.
Ready Radio/ Emergency Broadcast System– Disaster alerts and information may be available through TV and radio stations. In an emergency the regular transmission will be interrupted to broadcast important information like evacuation orders, shelter instructions, and more. Below is a list of radio stations participating in the Radio Ready program for Santa Barbara County.
National Weather Service– Emergency alert radio signals are provided by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). These radio signals are not accessible over AM/FM radios but are received by NOAA weather radios. Weather alert radios can be used to alert the public of other serious emergencies, not just weather events.
Tips and tools for being prepared
- Tips Preparation checklist
- Local contacts for disaster response
A copy of the guide is in every copy of the Senior Resource Directory and Senior Information Guide. You can also view it on our website (follow the links for Santa Barbara County – or San Luis Obispo County ).
Ready.gov has information on making a disaster plan, building an emergency kit and more.
American Red Cross has information and supplies for people preparing for a disaster. Groups can request a presentation from an American Red Cross volunteer on disaster preparedness as well.
The Vial of Life™ is a way for you to have your vital health information available to first responders. The Vial of Life™ containers can be placed on your refrigerator and contain a medical information card (click here to download a copy ) inside that can list prescriptions, medical conditions, allergies and other information important to your health care. Local first responders are trained to look for the Vial of Life™ when responding to an emergency. The Vial of Life™ containers are available free at local senior centers and the Area Agency on Aging office in Santa Maria.