Category Archives: Senior Living

History maker to speak  at Senior Health Expo

Gabriel just wanted to become an actor.

Gabriel Cordell never intended to make history, at least not in the way he eventually did.  He just wanted to become an actor.

In 1992, two months after his 22nd birthday, Cordell was en route to his first professional audition when an accident changed his life forever. His Jeep was hit and flipped, and Cordell was ejected from his vehicle, hitting a telephone pole that crushed his spinal cord. The accident left him paralyzed from his mid-chest down.

After four months of recovery and physical rehabilitation, Gabriel continued to pursue his dream of being an actor, now as a paraplegic. He established his acting career on stage and screen, with credits including Dexter, Numb3rs and Joan of Arcadia.

​At the age of 42, Cordell focused on a different kind of role. He set out to become the first person to roll across the United States in a standard, manual wheelchair — a 3,100-mile journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  The inspiring trek is the subject of an upcoming documentary film called, Roll With Me: A Journey Across America.

Completing the coast to coast journey in just 99 days, Cordell has made it his life’s purpose to inspire and empower people all over the world, by showing through his actions that anything is possible.

Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura is thrilled to announce that Gabriel Cordell will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming Health & Wealth Expo on Wednesday May 24,  from 11a.m. to 1p.m.

“We are thrilled to have Gabriel as our guest speaker,” said Mike Macke, director of sales and marketing at Cypress Place.  “His story is amazing and will inspire anyone who hears it.”

Along with the keynote presentation, this year’s Health & Wealth Expo at the senior community will include over 30 vendors offering everything from free blood pressure and mini stroke evaluations, free balance and hearing tests, free wealth management information, to veteran benefit information.  A free healthy gourmet lunch will also be provided.

Raffle prizes will be given away throughout the event including one grand prize; a 50” HD flat screen TV.   Admission is free and the event is open to the public.  Free shuttle parking will also be available at Ventura Baptist Church.

Corporate sponsors for the event are Assisted Home Care & Hospice, Coastal View Healthcare Center, Mission Home Health, Victoria Care Center, and Glenwood Care Center.

For more information or to RSVP, please call 650-8000.  To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura, visit their web site at www.cypressplaceseniorliving.com.

Tai Chi training to lead new classes scheduled in May

Moving for Better Balance follows curriculum developed at the Oregon Research Institute

Volunteers are needed for a senior Tai Chi program recently started in the four west county cities served by Oxnard RSVP. No experience is needed. Volunteer instructor training will be provided in mid-May. A six-month commitment to teaching the program is requested of volunteers.

Free exercise classes are being offered in partnership with the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging. Those interested in teaching should attend one of these classes to become familiar with the program.

Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance follows curriculum developed at the Oregon Research Institute. Studies showed improved strength and balance, increased mobility and reduced incidence of falls among seniors who participated in the classes.

The classes are intended for adults age 55 and older who can walk easily with or without assistive devices.

RSVP is currently recruiting volunteers to lead classes in Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo and Port Hueneme. A two-day training with the Master Trainer is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20, in Ventura. At least 30 hours of practice with other trained volunteers will follow before volunteers can be certified to lead a class

All RSVP volunteers must be age 55 or better. For more information on the instructor training, please call 385-8023.

Those interested in taking the 12-week class should call the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging’s fall prevention program at 477-7347.

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 600 members and is sponsored by the City of Oxnard.  To learn more about being an RSVP member or to discuss other volunteer opportunities call 385-8023.

“What Is The Older Americans Act?”

Family Caregiver Resource Center
Catholic Charities-OASIS Program
by Connie De La Rosa

The Theme for the May 2017 Older American’s Month is “Age Out Loud” which is intended to give aging a new voice which reflects on what older adults have to say about aging; therefore,  Older American Month is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

What is the “Older Americans Act?” The Act originally enacted in 1965 and supports various services  of home and community based services such as nutrition programs, meals on wheels, elder abuse prevention, caregivers support, transportation and in home services to assist seniors in remaining as independent and productive in their communities and homes.  The Older Americans Act (OAA) has Titles I through VII grants for State and Community Programs on Aging.  Each Title covers various programs so as an example, Title III covers nutrition, senior center programs, meals on wheels and caregiver support programs.

The Family Caregiver Resource Center, a program funded through the Older Americans Act,  in Santa Paula serves the County of Ventura in providing caregiver support groups, trainings on varies topics, respite care, assisted devices and many other resources for families caring for loved ones.  For more information, call 420-9608.

ENCORE creates new workforce

Suz Montgomery explains the details of a free education program to John & Kathy Walker during a recent open house at VACE. Photo by John Hankins

For people 50 and over, if you want at least a part time job to supplement your income or get back into the mix, ENCORE is the place to start.

It’s a free, self-paced training program aimed at filling the gaps needed to become employable. Examples include computer software skills, internet basics, math, English, or simply creating a stand-out resume and honing your job-seeking expertise.

“Thank you for a great learning experience,” wrote a recent student, Paige Cabasug, who found the training to be “a great confidence booster.”

Another student, Norma Baer, “was really surprised I got a (job) response right away and I already have another job offer.”

Thanks goes to VACE (Ventura Adult and Continuing Education), an arm of the Ventura Unified School District, in partnership with the Area Agency on Aging and city of Ventura.

ENCORE is not a traditional lecture-based class; instead you learn at your own pace any day of the week at locations in east and west Ventura. Call VACE at 289-7925 for details, or on-line at:

http://tinyurl.com/VenturaENCORE.

Businesses are also encouraged to contact VACE, adding to a growing list of job opportunities for these reliable and self-starting students.

Cabasug is an excellent example of a person who had minimal job skills, describing herself as a “domestic engineer” of a military family.

And Baer is an excellent example of a retiree who had 40 years of work experience, “but I wanted to supplement my Social Security and I got tired of sitting around the house. I needed to be around people.”

“I met a lot of ladies in my same position who wanted to keep learning and wanted to work,” Baer said.

Skilled or unskilled, ENCORE met their needs.

For Baer, “things just fell into place.” It happened that her previous work – 40 years at the American Consulate in Germany – was a perfect fit for finding work in today’s world of immigration changes, and her ENCORE training upgraded her computer skills.

“I liked it a lot, there’s more of a teacher-student connection,” she said of ENCORE, contrasting a “stiff, very dry” kind of education in Germany.

Now Baer has extra money to travel during her retirement, and Cabasug has the confidence and independence to be excited and proud about learning new skills and working beyond the home now that the children are grown and gone.

Sharing your life story—a priceless gift

“Ya, Billy I want you to know about my wonderful life forever “

by Lori Harasta

Your experiences and memories are unique. The greatest gift you can give your family is to record yours.

Jeff McElderry of Leisure Village decided to meet with one of the Camarillo Hospice-trained Life Story Volunteers and capture some of his favorite memories onto two CDs for his family, which includes five sons and eight grandchildren.  “My wife Esther and I heard about this program at the Leisure Village Health Fair and decided to give it a try.”

Camarillo Hospice volunteers are trained in conducting personal interviews and recording life stories, and they help create a truly special and lasting gift.  Recording sessions can take place in the comfort of one’s home, and when they are concluded, the client receives a professionally produced CD of his or her life story to share with family and friends.

Gerry Olsen recorded his life story with the assistance of Mark Rose, Camarillo Hospice Volunteer:  “I wanted to tell all my stories while I still remember them!”  Gerry and Mark met over a three-month period to record many stories of Gerry’s youth and early Camarillo days.  “It was a lot of fun, and Mark was very patient with me,” stated Gerry.

The Life Story Program is available to all members of the community, regardless of age or health needs. It is a free-of-charge service of Camarillo Hospice, a program of Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association.

In the words of one volunteer, “It is an amazing privilege to interview and record people’s stories. I’m certain that I get as much from it as they do! First of all I get a new friend. Secondly, I have been able to experience fascinating snapshots of history and ordinary life through the stories.”

For more information, or to schedule an interview, call 389-6870 ext. 12.

It’s an opportunity to ask questions about the state of the press

Breeze publisher Sheldon will be one of the presenters at “Meet the Press”.

The public can “Meet the Press” for questions, comments, and learn about how the local media puts it all together, thanks to the Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS). Afterward, you are invited to eat with the press.

“It’s an opportunity to ask questions about the state of the press in Ventura County and voice wishes and expectations to those providing our news services,” said Suz Montgomery, chair of the VCS, which is sponsoring the panel. The event host is the Ventura Adult and Continuing Education (VACE) arm of the Ventura Unified School District. The barbecue lunch is free, complements of the Downtown Ventura Rotary.

It begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 27 at VACE headquarters, 5200 Valentine Rd. Please RSVP at 648-3035 to ensure enough food.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Tim Gallagher, former editor of the Ventura County Star and features four journalists, representing four print news outlets with a nod to radio and TV affiliations. They are:

Ventura County’s daily newspaper, Ventura County Star, featuring its new news director, Darrin Peschka, recently promoted due to the retirement of John Moore.

Peschka knows Ventura intimately, serving as a Star editor for 14 years, overseeing community news, business, and city and county government.  She has a journalism degree from the University of Kansas and is now working on a master’s degree in public policy at California Lutheran University.

Ventura County Reporter, a weekly edited since 2008 by Michael Sullivan, who began her journalism career in 2006 at the Business Journal in Fresno, covering four counties in the Central Valley. She graduated from CSU-Northridge with a BA in journalism after earning an AA in journalism from Oxnard College.

Her style is “to keep it interesting, honest and informative.”

The bi-monthly Ventura Breeze was created by Sheldon Brown and his daughter, Staci, in 2007 with the simple task “to inform Venturans regarding events, happenings and news,” he said, “despite having absolutely no knowledge of the newspaper business we launched the paper.”

An architect by profession who has taught extension classes at Ventura College, Brown now knows a bit more of the news business during his golden years, venturing further into his own radio show on the new CAPS live-stream KPPQ-FM at 104.1.

John Hankins is a career journalist who owned a news bureau and clipping service covering the tri-counties from 1970 until 2000, when he opted to jump over deadlines into semi-retirement. He learned the art of reporting on the job during the turbulent 60s, working for the Oakland Tribune, L.A. Times and Time Magazine. He has a BA degree in English from UC-Santa Barbara.

He continues to edit, write and design the Sierra Club’s Condor Call, which covers environmental news and outdoor activity for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

New Medicare help for people with chronic illness

by Greg Dill-  Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories.

If you have Medicare, there’s a good chance you have two or more chronic conditions such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or dementia.

Two-thirds of the 57 million Americans with Medicare have two or more chronic illnesses. Having multiple chronic conditions increases the risk of death and functional limitations, decreases quality of life, and leads to higher health care spending.

Managing chronic diseases can be difficult, to say the least. You often face multiple visits to one or more doctors; you must take multiple drugs at different times on different days; you have to make extra trips for tests. It can all be a bit overwhelming.

At Medicare, we recognize the challenges you have in managing your conditions, working with your health care providers, and trying to stay healthy. Two years ago, we added a new benefit called Chronic Care Management, or CCM. This program provides additional payments to doctors and other providers to help you live with chronic disease.

For example, through the CCM benefit your primary-care doctor will help you keep track of your medical history, medications, and all the different health care providers you see. You’ll receive a comprehensive care plan that outlines your treatments and goals. Additionally, you’ll have 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access to health care professionals for urgent needs from the comfort of your home.

To be eligible for CCM services, you must be enrolled in Medicare or in both Medicare and Medicaid. And you must have two or more chronic diseases that are expected to last at least 12 months and place you at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline.

Other examples of chronic conditions include, but are not limited to, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism spectrum disorder, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, heart failure, hepatitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, ischemic heart disease, osteoporosis, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and stroke.

Specific CCM services may include:

  • At least 20 minutes a month of chronic care management services;
  • Personalized assistance from a dedicated health care professional who will work with you to create your care plan;
  • Coordination of care between your pharmacy, specialists, testing centers, hospitals, and more;
  • Phone check-ins between visits to keep you on track;
  • 24/7 emergency access to a health care professional;
  • Expert assistance with setting and meeting your health goals.

How much do CCM services cost? You’ll be responsible for the usual Medicare Part B cost-sharing and may have a deductible or coinsurance/co-pay. However, many people with Medicare have Medigap supplemental insurance that may cover CCM cost-sharing.

Chronic Care Management means having a continuous relationship with a dedicated health care professional who knows you and your history, gives personal attention, and helps you make the best choices for your health. CCM gives you and your loved ones the assistance you need to manage your chronic conditions so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

Ask your doctor about Chronic Care Management and get the connected care you need.

For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit: go.cms.gov/ccm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New reverse mortgage tools help seniors understand them better

“Perhaps if we get a reverse mortgage on the house it would get us through the next 4 years.”

You are 62 years or older and you own a home. Or your parents are 62 or older and own their own home. You hear about reverse mortgages from a news article or an advertisement or a website. Or maybe from a friend or relative. Or you might contact a reverse mortgage lender on the phone or on the internet. You hear that you can borrow against the equity in your home while you still live in it. You hear that this is a loan you do not have to pay back until you leave the home permanently. Your interest is sparked.

This might be just the right financial solution for a current or a future need. You can use a reverse mortgage to pay off your existing mortgage and lower your monthly expenses. You can use it to pay for health care. Or it might just provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have cash available.

Senior citizens considering a reverse mortgage and those who already have them now have new tools from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association to help them better understand these unique loans.

The free guides, posted to NRMLA’s consumer education website, reversemortgage.org, explain the benefits and responsibilities of this type of home equity loan used by more than a million homeowners to age in place, according to NRMLA.

“Part of our mission as an association is to educate consumers about the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage by being transparent about how the loan works,” said NRMLA President and CEO, Peter Bell.

“The new consumer guides are another way to provide reverse mortgage borrowers with information about loan terms, guidance for working with the lender after the loan is closed, and the process for repaying the loan when it comes due.”

“We consulted professionals from all areas of the industry to ensure the information we are sharing is clear, comprehensive, and responsive to the most common questions posed by borrowers and their families. We hope to see a broad adoption of the guides by policy makers, consumer advocates, and other professionals whose clients can benefit from learning more about reverse mortgage loans,” said Bell.

 

Senior Health Expo coming to Cypress Place

A 3,100-mile journey in just 99 days in a wheelchair.

Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura is thrilled to announce that Gabriel Cordell will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming Health & Wealth Expo.  This year’s event will take place on Wednesday May 24,  from 11a.m. to 1p.m.

Gabriel’s incredible true life story is the inspiration for the upcoming documentary film “Roll With Me: A Journey Across America”.   After losing the use of his legs in a car accident, Gabriel made history by becoming the first person to roll across the United States in a standard, manual wheelchair – a 3,100-mile journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic – in just 99 days.

Gabriel has made it his life’s purpose to inspire and empower people all over the world, by showing through his actions that anything is possible. His journey of hope and inspiration is nothing short of extraordinary.

Along with the keynote presentation, this year’s Health & Wealth Expo at the senior community will include over 30 vendors offering everything from free blood pressure and mini stroke evaluations, free balance and hearing tests, free wealth management consultations, to veteran benefit information.  A free healthy gourmet lunch will also be provided.

Raffle prizes will be given away throughout the event including one grand prize; a 50” HD flat screen TV.   Admission is free and the event is open to the public.  Free shuttle parking will also be available.

Corporate sponsors for the event are Assisted Home Care & Hospice, Coastal View Healthcare Center, Mission Home Health, Victoria Care Center, and Glenwood Care Center.

For more information or to RSVP, please call 650-8000.  To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura, visit www.cypressplaceseniorliving.com.

 

96 year old discovers talent for art

St. Germain with a few of her award winning paintings and  buddy Goldie .

by Jill Forman

“When I’m painting, I feel like I’m alive.”
~ Jeanne-Marie St. Germain, Ventura artist

For most of her 96 years, St. Germain was a professional violinist/viola player.  About 10 years ago, arthritis and bursitis were affecting her arms and she had to stop being a musician.  She had played everything from classical to the Boston Pops to accompanying some famous pop singers (Tina Turner, Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee,) so this was a crushing change in her life.  She felt she was not doing what she was meant to do, not being creative or artistic.

She tried other instruments, continued to teach and perform through her students.  But she was looking for something personal, her own creativity.  Her daughter Michelle Nosco, an artist herself, kept giving her art kits and supplies.  One day St. Germain was sitting at home looking at a plant, and said to herself, “I could draw that!”  She had a pencil and a sketchbook, and started using them.  She still has that book, and the viewer can see that even at the beginning she had a feel for shapes, and an uncanny ability to capture the spirit of a person or animal or even a still life.

Since her son and daughter live in California, she had moved to Santa Clarita after living in Boston, Maine, Canada, New York, Detroit, among other locales.  In Santa Clarita she discovered Lorelle Mille, a famous chalk artist and started to take lessons.  An amusing sidelight, while living at Bouquet Canyon Villas she wrote a column for the Senior Center newsletter named “Pet Talk;” whenever a new person moved in, she would interview them about their pets!

A purist, she stayed with pencil drawings for a while because she didn’t want to try color unless it would be “perfect.”  She still has her first attempt at a color picture, reddish flowers with some nice shading.  After that, she was ready to take the next step.

A year ago she came to Ventura, and lives with her daughter and their two dogs, Jack and Goldie, in the Working Artists’ Village(WAV).  She began watercolor classes at Ventura Adult Education with Judy Klement.  At a reception at the Ojai Museum, she discovered the work of Ojai-based Alice Matzin, who does paintings of older people; she was motivated by Matzkin’s art to go into watercolors more deeply.  She and Matzkin met later, at an exhibit at the Government Center (St. Germain had an Honorable Mention) and she was able to explain how she was inspired.  That was a memorable meeting for both.

This influence shows in her vivid portrait of Mother Teresa, for which she won a First Prize with a cash award at the Ventura County Fair.  St. Germain is happy with her accomplishments and only wishes she had discovered painting earlier in her life because “there are so many more things to paint.”