Category Archives: Senior Living

Aegis Assisted Living COVID safe, drive-by experience down memory lane

On October 12th, Aegis Assisted Living and Memory Care of Ventura provided their residents a wonderful, COVID safe, drive-by experience down memory lane!  Local car club members generously took time out of their schedules to give the residents a wonderful treat!  

Chingon Bakery, owned by George Lopez, also participated, and brought all the residents and staff their famous Mexican bread. Just an example of how we can pull together in these trying times and brighten up the lives of our senior citizens.

4964 Telegraph Rd. (805) 650-1114 AegisLiving.com.

Real-life benefits of exercise and physical activity

You can exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support.

Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when older people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.

Including all 4 types of exercise can benefit a wide range of areas of your life. Staying active can help you:

Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent

Have more energy to do the things you want to do and reduce fatigue

Improve your balance and lower risk of falls and injuries from falls

Manage and prevent some diseases like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and 8 types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer

Sleep better at home

Reduce levels of stress and anxiety

Reach or maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk of excessive weight gain

Control your blood pressure

Possibly improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks or plan an activity

Perk up your mood and reduce feelings of depression

Being active can help prevent future falls and fractures.

Research has shown that exercise is not only good for your physical health, it also supports emotional and mental health. You can exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support. So, next time you’re feeling down, anxious, or stressed, try to get up and start moving!

Physical activity can help:

Reduce feelings of depression and stress, while improving your mood and overall emotional well-being

Increase your energy level

Improve sleep

Empower you to feel more in control

In addition, exercise and physical activity may possibly improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.

Here are some exercise ideas to help you lift your mood:

Walking, bicycling, or dancing. Endurance activities increase your breathing, get your heart pumping, and boost chemicals in your body that may improve mood.

Yoga. This mind and body practice typically combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation.

Tai Chi. This “moving meditation” involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply.

Activities you enjoy. Whether it’s gardening, playing tennis, kicking around a soccer ball with your grandchildren, or something else, choose an activity you want to do, not one you have to do.

Now more than ever, get your flu shot

If your doctor says you should have a flu shot, don’t delay.

Senior News Line
by Matilda Charles

A sincere wish just came true: This year’s high-dose senior version of the flu shot will contain all four vaccines. In past years, the senior shot (for those over age 65) contained only three of the vaccines, two A and one B. Most years I would write a snarly note to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ask about the reason for the false economy. Of course I never got a reply, but now … finally, we seniors will have a flu shot with all four vaccines.

And what a shot it will be. The four vaccines are names we haven’t heard in a while, if ever: A/Guangdong-Maonan (H1N1), A/Hong Kong (H3N2), B/Washington and B/Phuket. To help us kick start our immune system, the senior version will contain four times the amount that younger folks get.

The standard trivalent (three-way) will have two A and one B, while the standard quadrivalent (four-way) has all four.

If your doctor says you should have a flu shot, don’t delay. When I called my pharmacy (where I get my flu shots each year), the first appointment was many days out, and they had been swamped with requests for the shot. Yes, they will be resupplied when they run out, but no, they didn’t know how quickly that would be.

By getting a flu shot, should you get sick later this season, it will be a good bet that it’s not the regular flu, which will save much time in getting a diagnosis.

To find flu shots, call your doctor, local pharmacies, grocery stores or go to vaccinefinder.org. If you have a Medicare or insurance card, you won’t have to pay anything.

If you want to know more, check the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm.

(c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

Getting ready for 2021 Medicare open enrollment in a virtual world

by Rick Beavin, Desert Pacific Medicare President, Humana

The annual Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan open enrollment period is traditionally a time for educational events, classes and one on one meetings, but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some new and different ways to learn about Medicare. October 15 to December 7 is the time when millions of people eligible for Medicare can access the latest information about available health plans for 2021. In California alone, nearly 6.5 million people are enrolled in Medicare including almost 3 million with Medicare Advantage.

There are resources to help you choose the plan that’s right for you without having to leave home, including informational websites, virtual educational events and one-on-one virtual meetings with sales agents. At the same time, it’s important to safely access Medicare information online while protecting your personal information and avoiding fake offers and other scams.

Here are some tips for how to prepare for the Medicare fall open enrollment period:

1. Use an online tool

Go to the Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov to compare plans, benefits and an estimated cost for each plan based on an average member.

If you are interested in Medicare Part D, which helps cover the cost of prescription medications, you can also enter the names of prescription medications you take to ensure those medications are covered by the plan you are considering. You can enroll directly on Medicare.gov.

On Medicare.gov, you can also learn about and enroll in Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes called Part C or MA Plans, and you can also visit an insurance company’s website to learn more about what they offer. Insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans can provide you with detailed information about their plans and services, plus prescription pricing information and other benefits. You can also check to see if your primary care physician or other providers are in-network with the Medicare Advantage plan.

2. Sign up for a virtual education workshop

Many insurance companies are offering online workshops to review 2021 Medicare Advantage plan options. Also, check to see if you can set up a virtual one-on-one meeting with an insurance company sales agent – meaning, by phone or video chat. Before you attend a virtual event or meeting, find out in advance how to log on to the meeting to avoid technical issues. It’s a good idea to also prepare a list of questions so that you can ensure you get the information you need. Does the plan include vision, hearing and dental coverage? Will telehealth services be covered? Is transportation to your medical appointments included?

3. Protect yourself against Medicare scams

The federal Medicare agency has warned that scammers may try to use the pandemic to steal Medicare beneficiaries’ Medicare numbers, banking information or other personal data. Scammers may try to reach out to you by phone, email, text message, social media or by visiting your home. Only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer or other trusted health care provider. Do not click links in text messages and emails about COVID-19 from unknown sources, and hang up on unsolicited phone calls offering COVID-19 tests or supplies.

If you are not comfortable accessing plan information online, Medicare.gov has an option for setting up a phone call. For more information, go to Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

Celebrating 10 years of producing senior events

Back for its 10th year, Golden Future Expos is going virtual with the All Things Senior Virtual Expo Series! COVID-19 will not stop us from connecting with Ventura County Baby Boomers and Seniors.

This virtual series was created specifically for SoCal Baby Boomers and Seniors to safely from the comfort of their home, explore options and resources available for retirement, learn about new products and services, and connect with others who share the same goal of healthy aging. The series will showcase a vast range of exhibitors from industries such as healthcare, financial services, legal matters, travel and recreation, home and garden, mobility devices, government programs, diet and exercise, Social Security, Medicare, and more! Attendees can also expect live entertainment, health surveys, job and volunteer opportunities, online bingo, raffles, giveaways, meet & greet, and educational seminars from industry experts.

The 2020 ALL Things Senior Virtual Expo schedule is as follows:

Ventura County Edition: October 23rd – October 24th

Los Angeles County Edition: November 6th – November 7th

Orange County Edition: November 20th – November 21st

Inland Empire Edition: December 4th – December 5th

Toyia Moore, Event Director with Golden Future Expos Inc. says, “With no admission fee, these two-day online events feature a who’s who of those who offer goods and services to the 50+ market. The objective is to safely provide Baby Boomers and Seniors with information and resources that they may not be aware of or have access to during this pandemic. Best of all, participants only need Internet Access, and a Computer or Laptop (or their phone) to be a part of this terrific event!” Attendees can go directly to http://www.allthingsseniorvirtualexpo.com to register!

The All Things Senior Virtual Expo Series provides sponsors and exhibitors the opportunity to meet safely from the comfort of their home or office with attendees. In order to reserve your virtual exhibit space, please contact the Sales Team directly at 805-716-3303 or via e-mail at info@goldenfutureexpos.com.

Health plan partnership supports Ventura County’s Hispanic seniors

by Carol Leish

As of October 1, 2020, Clinicas del Camino Real, which serves 40,000 patients enrolled in Medi-Cal or Medicare plans in Ventura County, and AmericanHealth Plan, has joined the network of SCAN Health Plan, a not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan serving senior in Ventura and other communities in California. Clinicas’ network is comprised of specialists providing the following on-site services:

  • Primary Care Dental services Internal Medicine
  • Optometry Obstetrics/Gynecology Behavioral Health
  • Pediatrics Pharmacy Cardiology
  • Laboratory Podiatry Health Education
  • Chiropractic Radiology

SCAN, which has been in California since the 1970’s began serving Ventura County in 2004. “As a nonprofit, SCAN’s mission is to keep seniors healthy and independent,” according to, Sherry Stanislaw, general manage of SCAN, headquartered in Long Beach, CA. “We offer a variety of services (see above), along with offering a wide network. By adding Clinica, there are now more choices.”

According to, Stanislaw, “SCAN is a Medicare Advantage Plan. This means that you don’t need a supplemental plan. Also, you won’t have any deductibles. Thus, you can have SCAN Medicare Advantage with full payment vs. having Medicare with an 80%/20% payment, that only covers 80% of costs. Other benefits of enrolling in SCAN include: having a vision and hearing coverage, along with a prescription plan. A drug prescription plan is also offered. Also, a gym membership is provided: Silver Sneakers.”

“Thus, with SCAN, you will have a wide access of providers”, according to, Stanislaw. “You’ll also have routine transportation provided. And, you’ll be saving money since you won’t be needing to have a supplemental policy. Thus, it’s affordable and comprehensive.”

Stanislaw mentioned that, “We are super excited to be partnering with Clinica, serving their community, and the Spanish community. We have developed a synergy by being able to partner with Clinica and with several other clinics in Ventura County.”

Open enrollment is from: October 1st, 2020—December 7th, 2020, for people who are eligible for Medicare; 65 or older; or those with disabilities of any age. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2021. “Either go through your health insurance agent/broker; or, call SCAN’s toll free #: (855) 460-7226,” according to, Sharon Armani, Senior Director.

Staying motivated to exercise

Try some new activities to keep your interest alive.

Physical activity is a great way for older adults to gain substantial health benefits and maintain independence. Try to make exercise a priority. Remember that being active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve health. Try these tips to help you stay motivated to exercise.

Find Simple Ways to Make Exercise Fun and Enjoyable

Some people like to walk on a treadmill at the gym. Others find that kind of activity boring. The key to sticking with exercise is to make it interesting and enjoyable. Be creative. Do things you enjoy but pick up the pace. Do all four types of exercise—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. The variety helps keep things interesting! Try some new activities to keep your interest alive.

Find Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Day

You are more likely to exercise if it’s a convenient part of your day. Try exercising first thing in the morning. Combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your day, such as walking the dog or doing household chores. If you don’t have 30 minutes to be active, look for three 10-minute periods. As you progress, add more 10-minute sessions until you hit your goal!

Work Out at Work

There are many ways to fit physical activity into your regular schedule, even while you are at work! Look for easy ways to add physical activity to your regular schedule:

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Take a walk with co-workers during your lunch break. An exercise buddy can help you stick with your plan to be more active!

Walk down the hall and talk with a co-worker instead of sending an e-mail, .

Park a little farther away from your office and enjoy the walk.

Join your company’s fitness center if there is one.

Search for Move Your Way: Tips for Busy Days on YouTube for more tips on fitting more activity into your day.

Make Exercise a Social Activity

Many people agree that an “exercise buddy” keeps them going.

Take a walk during lunch with coworkers.

Try a dance class—salsa, tango, square dancing—it’s up to you.

Use family gatherings as a time to play team sports or do outdoor activities.Women exercising together

Keep Track of Your Exercise Progress

The best way to stay motivated is to measure and celebrate your successes:

Make an exercise and physical activity plan that works for you.

Track your daily physical activity.

Find new ways to increase your physical activity.

Keep track of your monthly progress to see improvement.

Update your exercise plan as you progress.

Don’t forget to build rewards into your plan. Write down something you will do for yourself when goals are achieved. Treat yourself to something special: a movie, a trip to the museum, a new audiobook, or a massage. Celebrate your successes!

Tips For Coping with Breaks in Your Exercise Routine

It is normal to have life events and changes get in the way of staying active. However, there are ways to get yourself back on track. Remember, to get the most out of exercise and physical activity, they need to be a regular part of your life.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare word on tablet screen with medical equipment on background

Set a reminder—it’s time to get ready for Medicare Open Enrollment.

Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7, but did you know you can get an early look at next year’s health plans and prescription drug plans starting on October 1?

Premiums for Medicare Advantage Plans are dropping to historic lows for 2021. This type of Medicare health plan, offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare, is an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), and usually Part D (prescription drug coverage). Most plans offer extra benefits—like vision, hearing, dental, and more.

Starting on October 1, you can take an early peek at Medicare health plans and drug plans by using the Medicare Plan Finder. If you have a Medicare Number, you can log in or create an account to put together or access a list of your drugs, compare your current Medicare plan to others, and see prices based on any help you get with drug costs.

If you’re among the 1 in 3 people with Medicare who has diabetes, here’s some more good news: starting in 2021, many participating drug plans will offer a 30-day supply of insulin for $35 or less per month. If you take insulin and enroll in one of these plans, you could save an average of $446 per year on your out-of-pocket costs for insulin next year.

Get ready to compare and save on Medicare health plans and Medicare drug plans.

Obesity may be associated with an increased risk for developing dementia

“I have started my diet!”

A recent NIA-supported study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggests that obesity may be associated with an increased risk for developing dementia. Obesity, like cardiovascular disease and stroke, is a modifiable risk factor for dementia since it generally can be countered through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

For the study, researchers at University College London analyzed a group of participants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) who were at least 50 years old when enrolled in the study. Baseline measurements, including body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, were collected when the participants enrolled. The participants were followed up on average 11 years later to determine whether they had developed dementia.

The researchers found that participants who had a BMI corresponding with overweight or obese were more likely to develop dementia. This outcome supports previous studies that indicate obesity is a risk factor. The research team also found that abdominal obesity, associated with high waist circumference, at baseline is a risk factor that affects women more than men. In addition, the study found that the association between obesity and dementia was independent of whether a person was a smoker, had hypertension or diabetes, or carried the APOE ε4 gene, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Obesity continues to be a major public health issue across the world, so further study could help determine whether early interventions and lifestyle changes could reduce dementia risk. There is also a need to understand the mechanism by which obesity increases the risk for dementia, such as through inflammation or genetic factors. Subsequent studies should involve frequent check-ins to monitor the development of dementia and potentially find common symptoms or factors among obese participants.

This research was funded in part by NIA grant R01AG017644. ELSA is funded in part by NIA grant R01AG7644.

These activities relate to NIA’s AD+ADRD Research Implementation Milestone 2.B, “Determine interrelationships among aging, cerebrovascular disease and risk factors, resilience factors, genetic variants, amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration.”

Reference: Ma Y, et al. Higher risk of dementia in English older individuals who are overweight or obese. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2020;dyaa099. Epub 2020 Jun 23. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa099.

Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups

The Oxnard Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues but not like this.

The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Ventura County residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Saturday, September 26, 2020.

The Oxnard Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, and trails across their local communities.

“This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be everywhere,” said Wendy Vizek, vice president, constituent events at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn’t change the need to walk. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”

For many participants, this year is a trivial and emotional time to come together in support of this cause. Some, like Mary Simpson, are experiencing a very recent loss; her mom struggled with Alzheimer’s for 10 years. “It is difficult now not being able to meet with my church and support group, but my faith, friends and family have been a huge support,” Mary said. “ I’ll still be walking this year as part of Team His Sparrows because it is so important to continue to raise awareness and support for the cause.”

For volunteer and Alzheimer’s advocate Terry Seidel, this year will be his fourth time participating in the annual Oxnard Walk to End Alzheimer’s – only his second Walk since the passing of his wife and love of his life, Gina. Terry explained the increased difficulty of navigating a new Walk experience amidst the pandemic.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In California alone, there are more than 690,000 people living with the disease and 1,624,000 caregivers.

To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimers, visit: act.alz.org/oxnard.

For questions and more information, contact Aracely Avila at aravila@alz.org.

Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.