Category Archives: Senior Living

New Tai Chi Balance Classes in Ventura 

Tai Chi focuses on improving the mobility and balance of older adults.

Three new senior Tai Chi classes are forming in Ventura over the next few weeks and registration is now open. Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance is a 12-week program offered by Oxnard RSVP and focuses on improving the mobility and balance of older adults.

Classes are free, designed for those age 50 and older, and taught by certified senior volunteers. The evidence-based program consists of a simplified eight-form routine of Yang-style Tai Chi. Intended for beginners who can walk easily with or without assistive devices, it teaches participants balance skills and good body alignment by using coordinated and flowing movements. The classes have been proven to reduce repeated falls by 55%.

New classes are:

  • Emerging Spirits Center, 4601 Telephone Road, #113, Oct 2 – Dec 13, T/TH, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • The Bonaventure, 10949 Telegraph Road, Sept 18 – Dec 11, T/TH, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • CMH Wellness and Fitness Center, 2723 E. Main Street, Sept 11 – Dec 4, T/F, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

New participants are accepted only until the third class of each session. To achieve results, they should attend at least 75% of the classes. Call 385-8019 to learn more or to register.

A federal grant received by the City of Oxnard and its RSVP program funds the free exercise classes, which follow curriculum developed at the Oregon Research Institute (in Oregon) where studies showed improved strength and balance, increased mobility and reduced incidence of falls among seniors who participated in the classes.

RSVP is a volunteer recruitment and placement program, helping people 55 and older find volunteer positions that match their interests, talent and available time.  The Oxnard RSVP has almost 575 members and is sponsored by the City of Oxnard.  To learn more about being an RSVP member or to discuss other volunteer opportunities, call 805-385-8023.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused from asbestos exposure, a mineral that was used extensively in practically anything for its heat-resistant properties. After the dangers of asbestos were known, its use has been strictly regulated. Unfortunately, plenty of damage has already done and mesothelioma has a latency period of 20-50 years, making seniors the primary demographic diagnosed.

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Doctors use several methods to test for mesothelioma, however a biopsy is the only true way to confirm a diagnosis. This usually comes after a series of other tests and scans once symptoms arise. Since mesothelioma is a rare disease it is not uncommon for it to be misdiagnosed as the flu or pneumonia.

Anyone who believes to be or knows they were exposed to asbestos at some point in time, should immediately notify their primary care doctor about their exposure history. This will ensure mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are not ruled out as the cause of the symptoms.

Imaging Scans

Most people initially undergo a basic chest X-ray. If an abnormal growth is detected, doctors will recommend a more detailed imaging scan such as a PET scan, CT scan or MRI.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are also available, but they do not confirm the presence of mesothelioma. Research is underway to determine if blood tests can aid in early diagnosis for at-risk former asbestos workers.


If cancer is suspected, doctors will recommend taking a biopsy or a sample of tissue. Biopsies can confirm mesothelioma cancer cells.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The leading treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Many specialists prefer to combine two or more of these treatments, which is an approach known as multimodal therapy. Numerous studies show this approach improves survival rates.

o   Surgery

Surgery can be used for diagnostic or aggressive and potentially curative purposes. It offers the best chance of long-term survival for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients eligible for surgery.

o   Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can alleviate symptoms, improve quality of life and extend survival, but it can carry unpleasant side effects.

o   Radiation

With fewer side effects than chemotherapy, radiation can help shrink tumors and relieve pain. It can be performed at all stages.

o   Multimodal Treatment

A combination of two or more traditional treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Studies show multimodal therapy can improve survival.


Heated or Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a multimodal treatment that involves heating chemotherapy drugs and delivering them to the abdomen after surgery.

For more information visit The Mesothelioma Center. They are a 100% free resource center for those suffering from mesothelioma and their families. They have the most up-to-date information on asbestos and mesothelioma as well as offer 1-1 consultation with their Patient Advocates who will help find local treatment centers, doctors, and support groups.

The book is written as a 31 day devotional

Chaplain Harold Christmann signing his book for Sandy Mathews and Jane Brown. Photo by Michael Gordon

Chaplain Harold Christmann presented his newly published book of devotionals at a book signing event held at the Ventura Townehouse Active Senior Living Community located at 4900 Telegraph.

Chaplain Christmann is a retired Navy Chaplain . The book, Moments of Divine Intimacy has been released by Christian Faith Publishing and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble on line for $12.95.

The book is written as a 31 day devotional. Each day of the month, Christmann describes a special moment when God touched his life through a new insight of truth or a demonstration of God’s supernatural power of healing.

Chaplain Christmann has suggested that these experiences will be helpful to those seeking a more intimate relationship with God or who are looking for some tangible evidence of God’s reality.

The theme of the book is that everything God has done through Jesus Christ, death and resurrection has one purpose, to make intimacy with God possible.

Chaplain Christmann has a Bachelor of Arts degree and two Masters degrees. He has been certified as a clinical prison, hospital and hospice chaplain. Chaplain Christmann retired with the rank of Commander in the Navy Reserve and is a Vietnam Veteran.

Chaplain Christmann is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted by email gg.godsgift10

Clearwater at Riverpark

Clearwater at Riverpark invites local community to Honor Active Aging Week with Wellness Festival

Clearwater at Riverpark is hosting a community event on Saturday, September 29th from 11 to 3 pm to advocate for Active Aging Week. Festivities will embody Clearwater at Riverpark’s Empowered Living philosophy that encourages residents to pursue their passions through a wellness lifestyle.

Active Aging Week influences millions of people every year during the last week of September to spread awareness for the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA). Highlighting the benefits of active living in adults over 50 years old; this weeklong campaign puts a spotlight on all areas of life —physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental. Individuals worldwide participate in various ways to experience wellness activities for older adults while creating a supportive environment.

“The Wellness Festival is intended to inspire our residents and the greater community.” said Britt Martin, lifestyle director of Clearwater at Riverpark. “I’m excited about Active Aging Week. There are many ways to live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle and offering a community wellness festival where the older active adults can explore on their own, puts the power in their hands to choose what is best for them.”
The event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend. Guests will appreciate the beneficial and healthful choices at Clearwater at Riverpark’s Wellness Festival, such as:
A mindful market of local, homemade, and wellness focused product
Community vendors
Dogs to adopt from C.A.R.L. organization
Healthy food trucks
Wellness speakers
In addition, throughout the week residents of Clearwater at Riverpark can engage in on-site activities aligned with Active Aging Week by dedicating each day to a dimension of wellness from their Empowered Living program. The exclusive schedule offers a beach clean-up, meditation journey nutritional class, tai chi session and more.

Space is limited. To reserve your space or learn more, please call 805.366.3446 or email Clearwater at Riverpark is located at 750 Clyde River Place in Oxnard, California.

Clearwater Living® is committed to providing the most superior customer service and living experiences that celebrates individual relevance, from our residents and their families to our family of associates.  Clearwater is growing through strategic acquisitions, development and operational management of senior living communities throughout the western United States. Every Clearwater Living community includes cutting-edge technologies and care practices that improve the daily lives of residents. To learn more about Clearwater Living, visit

Also Baby’s Badass Burgers Food truck will be there on September 14th and October 12th from 11:30am-2:30pm.

Do coffee drinkers live longer?

by Matilda Charles

A new study looked at data to determine whether consuming coffee lowered the risk of premature death.

This was not a small, short-term study. The data was collected for over a decade on a half-million people who’d been part of the U.K. Biobank study. It looked at all manner of health information and daily living, such as health history, smoking, drinking, exercise and coffee consumption, as well as exams and tests. Researchers then looked at all their information in terms of longevity in coffee drinkers.

Here’s what they found:

Risk reduction rose depending on the amount of coffee consumed. One cup a day gave an 8 percent lower risk of early death, compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. That rose to a 16 percent lower risk for those having six or seven cups. At eight cups or more per day, however, the rate fell to 14 percent.

It didn’t matter what kind of coffee was consumed. It could be ground coffee, instant or filtered.

It didn’t matter whether the coffee was regular or decaffeinated.

Since both regular and decaf coffee had the same results, it’s not the caffeine that helps reduce the risk of death. Bottom line is that, with all the many chemicals in coffee, they just don’t know what part of coffee is helping.

A word of warning: Just because a study says coffee helps reduce risk of death, it doesn’t mean we should double or triple the amount we drink. That’s an individual thing and should be discussed with your doctor. If, for example, you already are on medication for high blood pressure, even the small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee could have an impact on how effective your medication is.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

90 for 90!

As of August 4th, Richard Crummie had received 131 cards.

by Jennifer Tipton

When Susie Curtis first reached out to social media on July 16th to surprise her dad, Richard Crummie with 90 cards for his 90th birthday on August 2nd, she had no idea of the terrific response she would get! Cards came in from Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Canada, to name a few and some well-wishers sent gifts along with their card.
Mr. Crummie lives alone but has some problems with his eyesight, “it limits what I can do by myself, but I have friends that help me”, he said.

When her dad returned after going out to get a haircut, Susie placed the mail on his lap, “it was about six inches thick and he was shocked, asking me what it was”, Susie laughed. She told him it was his mail and he said, “all of it?”.

Mr. Crummie told me that at first, he was overwhelmed with how much mail he had received and when he learned it was all birthday cards, he was “really taken back by it all!”

When I spoke with Susie and her (very surprised) dad on the afternoon of his birthday, he told me, “she’ll have to read them to me of course, but definitely the best birthday ever!”
I asked what he’s going to do now, he responded, “I think I’ll try to be kind to everybody I come into contact with”.

Susie said,” but dad, I thought you were going to learn to jet ski?” He denied it saying he did all his exciting playing around in his youth, and added, “I think I’m gonna start all over – I’m going for 100!”

As of August 4th, Richard Crummie had received 131 cards and they were still coming in!

Sports are a great way to be active!

Tony Jankowski, Dick Zizic and Harold Kennedy keep in shape playing tennis at the Pierpont Racket Club hoping that some day they can beat Publisher Sheldon.

by National Institute on Aging

Competition and teamwork can inspire you to work harder and keep up your commitment to exercise. Try one of these sports:

  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Seated volleyball
  • Wheelchair basketball

For more sports ideas, visit the Go4Life website!

Exercising in hot weather? Stay safe with these tips!

Don’t let hot weather stop you from being active. Follow these simple precautions to prevent heat-related health problems.

Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.

Drink plenty of liquids.

Check the weather forecast. If it’s very hot or humid, try an indoor exercise.

For more safety tips, check out Exercising Safely in Hot Weather from Go4Life.

Yoga is a great flexibility exercise for older adults!

Yoga is a mind and body practice that typically combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation. When practicing yoga, keep the following in mind:

Put safety first.

Look for a well-trained instructor.

Practice mindfully.

Find more information about yoga and older adults from Go4Life.

This exercise will help strengthen your grip!

The hand grip exercise is a simple strength exercise that can help if you have trouble picking things up or holding onto them. It also will help you open jars more easily. You can do this exercise while reading or watching TV – all you need is a tennis ball!

When you’re out and about on your bike, it’s important to know how to be safe!

Riding a bicycle is a great way to exercise. Follow these tips to help you ride more safely:

Always wear a helmet that fits correctly.

Yield to pedestrians.

Signal when you make turns.

Avoid riding your bicycle at night.

Find more information on biking safely from Go4Life.

Become a one-on-one Reading Tutor for adults!

Ventura County Library Adult Literacy READ Program is looking for Adult volunteer tutors who would like to help other adults improve their reading and writing skills. No teaching experience is required and the training is free. The five-week tutor training series will be offered in Ventura in August through September, and in Simi Valley in September through October.

The READ program trains adult volunteers to provide free one-to-one reading instruction for adults in need of basic literacy skills. Instruction in basic literacy includes the development of phonetic reading skills combined with communication skills. Ventura County Library is encouraging residents to take this opportunity to volunteer as a tutor or encourage someone you know to take advantage of the free program.

After completion of the five-week training, tutors will meet with their adult learners at locations throughout the county. Tutoring is scheduled by the availability of the tutors and the learners.

Illiteracy is an issue that can be debilitating in so many ways for adults who never received the proper instruction. Adults who are unable to read have a much more difficult time with many daily activities that others may take for granted, along with a clear disadvantage in today’s competitive job market.

For more information about how you can support literacy and make a difference in someone’s life, call (805) 677-7160.

STEMbassador Kids Kick off STEM Workshop Series with Ventura teachers

Teachers, STEMbassadors students and Alex Wulff love what they are doing.

Beginning Monday, June 18, 2018 STEMbassadors taught a 3-day workshop to train 16 teachers from several Ventura County schools ( De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts (DATA), Junipero Serra elementary school, Rio and Elmhurst elementary, along with Oxnard elementary school ) in the use of their CNC router “spark carts.”

The spark carts were designed and constructed by the STEMbassadors and include mobile CNC routers, laptops, dust collection, and materials.  This workshop was taught by the STEMbassadors crew, comprised of eight Ventura students in grades 8th-10th and led by their STEM elective teacher, Alex Wulff, from DATA.

The teachers attending the training workshop were instructed on safety, operation and trouble-shooting of the CNC mills, and guided through a number of standards and project-based classroom lessons.  Teachers will use these lessons to teach Ventura County elementary and middle schoolers about STEM technologies, such as CAD skills, in a fun and hands-on way. Now that the teachers have received the necessary training, STEMbassadors will donate one spark cart (each valued at $5000) to each of the participating schools, which will be used in classrooms during the 2018/19 school year.

STEMbassadors is a Ventura, non-profit company comprised of 8 highly motivated high school and middle school students who are having a direct impact on STEM education in K-12 classrooms in Ventura County.  The company was recently awarded 1st place in the Ventura County New Venture Challenge and was featured on KCLU radio in a piece by Lance Orozco on June 19, 2018.

STEMbassadors’ mission is to enhance the education of K-12 students by providing and engaging them with applied, state-of-the-art STEM materials, curriculum and skills, and to create opportunities for them to share their acquired knowledge with others.

Student interest and expertise in highly desirable STEM skills and technologies often outpaces the rate at which these technologies and skills are integrated into our public-school system. Teacher credential programs, and most undergraduate programs, lack suitable training for teachers on how to integrate and maintain STEM technologies within a classroom setting. The vast majority of students receive either limited or no exposure to highly engaging and relevant tools. The few students who are fortunate enough to receive exposure to applied STEM technologies find their skill sets evaporating as they progress through the school system, since they have limited opportunities to apply and expand their knowledge and expertise.

For further information contact: Alex Wulff: or (805)746-2960.

Studio Channel Islands Receives Grant for Arts and Health Program

Seniors attending Memory Café at Studio Channel Islands.

Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) has awarded Studio Channel Islands (SCI) a grant in the amount of $28,820 to support its Arts and Health programming. Funding will be used to expand its Memory Cafes (creative social events for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers), art classes with hospice (workshops for children in bereavement counseling) and stroke survivor art classes. Funding for the grant will come from the Ruth Daily Livingston Fund.

“We are grateful to VCCF for their support of our growing Arts and Health community programs. There is extensive research which demonstrates that participation in the arts has profound impact in improving individual and community well-being,” said Peter Tyas, SCI’s executive director.

Tyas explained that the arts have been employed in both hospital and community care settings for over twenty years and the findings from peer-reviewed research has led to the development of an extensive arts and health network across Europe and parts of North America. The partnership between arts professionals and the medical community has refined a number of arts and health models which have measurable health outcomes and significant impacts upon the overall quality of life.

Studio Channel Islands has been developing a partnership with Camarillo Health Care District and with the local hospital to explore the potential of the arts to have positive impacts within the community.

For more information, visit or call 805-383-1368.

Ongoing programs include art classes for adults and children, providing studio space for professional artists, presenting diverse art shows in its Blackboard Gallery and providing community art and cultural events for individuals and families. Gallery hours are Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Located at 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo.