Category Archives: Senior Living

Here’s how to stay cool this summer

“Are you sure wearing this hat will keep me cool?”

Senior News Line
by Matilda Charles

Summer doesn’t officially start until June 20, but there are locations in the country where the temperature is reaching 100 degrees. Much of the Sunbelt already is seeing highs in the 90s. All of those numbers are going to rise in the coming weeks. It’s the time of year for seniors to beware the heat. Here are some tips:

Consider sun-blocking drapes for windows on the south and west side of the house. Keep them closed during the heat of the day.

Join afternoon activities at the library and senior center. That way you’ll be in air conditioning when the heat is at its worst. If you can get to the mall, go there. Sit in the food court and read a book(or the Ventura Breeze), or walk some laps for exercise.

Plan your errands for early or late in the day.

Call your doctor’s office and ask about your water intake. Be sure to tell them all of your medications; some drugs can make it too easy to become dehydrated, especially if you take diuretics. Remember that sugary drinks don’t count as liquid intake.

If you go out, use a wide-brim woven hat. Check the weather and keep an eye on the heat index. Wear loose cotton clothing.

Remember: We seniors don’t always know when we’re getting overheated. Heat exhaustion or heatstroke can creep up on us because our circulatory system doesn’t work like it used to. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion: weakness, headaches, dizziness and muscle cramps. The more serious heatstroke can follow only 10-15 minutes later.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

Local surgeon shares secrets

Because he is 91 Dr. Woodburn usually only works 2 days per week. Photo by Michael Gordon

by Sheli Ellsworth

Like so many Ventureans, Dr. James Woodburn II fled the Thomas fire. He evacuated in the middle of the night after receiving panicked phones calls from his daughter and daughter-in-law. He left with the clothes on his back while his home of 45 years was destroyed. “I knew I was in trouble when my auto insurance company wanted a police report for the loss of my car. They even asked if I could turn it in for salvage.” The home had collapsed onto the garage. There was nothing to turn over.

Woodburn moved to Ventura in 1972 and started a private practice. “I can’t think of a nicer place to live,” says Woodburn. “The medical community here is good. Very good.”

Woodburn says his father, who was also a doctor, was his greatest mentor. “He died of a coronary while he was on a house call at the age of 76.” Two of Woodburn’s sons and one of his grand-daughters also practice medicine. The family has 105 years of combined service at Community Memorial Hospital. Dr. Woodburn continued to assist his sons in surgery while he was homeless. Why? “Because after my family, medicine is my first love.”

“My daughter-in-law’s mother lives in the Ventura Townhouses. She knew of a double unit that was being remodeled. I jumped on it, but I still couldn’t move in until the work was finished.” In the meantime, Woodburn got pneumonia and was in the hospital’s ICU for three weeks. What sort of patient was he? “I was the worst kind! Being sick was worse than WWII.” He finally recovered and moved in to the renovated townhouse the end of February and says the facility’s gym is a good follow-up to the two puzzles he does every day. “I have been working out since 1986 and I do the New York and the LA Times crossword puzzles every day.”

Woodburn stays busy. He goes into his office at least two days a week, still assists in surgery and keeps in close communication with his nine grandchildren. “I always say that my favorite one is the one I’m with.” What has kept Woodburn going? “I grew up in the Midwest. We had different values. I’m a curmudgeon.” Woodburn says he thinks that people retire too early. “You have to have something to get up for every day.” Dr. Woodburn is 91 years young.

Nationwide, knitters unite on The Longest Day

Teresa Valko and Lois Perry present a Greenfield Memory Care resident with a blanket knitted on The Longest Day in 2017.

by Lori Harasta

Five years ago, Teresa Valko participated in the first Alzheimer’s Association’s “The Longest Day” by walking from dawn to dusk. Sixteen hours and 36 miles later, she unlaced her shoes, examined her blistered feet, and said, “There’s got to be a better way.”

Valko is not just passionate about ending Alzheimer’s disease, a monstrous malady that has claimed way too many of her own family members. She also loves to knit. “A day without knitting would be like….what am I talking about? I have no idea what a day without knitting is like!”

Her two passions merged last year when she joined with Anacapa Yarn Shop Owner Lois Perry to form the “Yarn Ballz to End Alz” knitting team. On Summer Solstice, the doors opened at sunrise and closed at sunset. In the hours between, 80 fiber enthusiasts participated in the “knit-along”, assembling squares out of donated yarn into Afghans.

he blankets were later donated to memory care facilities throughout Ventura County. The team’s first-time haul of $17,500.00 wasn’t accomplished just by knitting. Non-knitters were also part of the fundraising team, donating money, refreshments, and raffle prizes.

Perry was thrilled at the success of the event. “We owe it all to those people who worked so hard to make it happen. We just put out the call and they rallied. It was a lot of fun, and heartwarming to have the support of so many.”

According to Valko, “Death from Alzheimer’s disease increased 123% between 2000 and 2015. It is the only cause of death in the top ten for which there is no cure, no prevention, and no treatment.
“The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. For them, every day seems like the longest day.”
The goal is to raise funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support, and research programs.

This year, Valko will unite knitters nationwide. She will fly across the country to support a team in Baltimore, Maryland. From there, she will go to Austin, Texas where a team will participate at a well-known yarn store called Hill Country Weavers. Nationally-known knitter Ann Budd in Colorado will have a knitting team. Budd lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. Currently there are 17 teams across the nation. The journey will be covered via Instagram – @wcbelle and Twitter – @WCBelle68 all day June 20th and 21st.

On June 21 (or thereabouts), people across the country will participate in The Longest Day with team names such as “Bordeaux for Brains”, “Blistered Soles” “AZL PALZ” and “Doodling to end Dementia”. The activity possibilities are endless. Since Summer Solstice falls on a Thursday this year, it should be noted that celebrating on Saturday is perfectly fine.

According to Valko, “It is an opportunity for participants to do what they love to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s.”

If you are interested in joining and/or supporting the “Yarn Ballz to End Alz” team, please go online to For activity ideas, and to form a team, go to

What will you do on The Longest Day to end Alzheimer’s?

Regency Palms Oxnard Senior Living

On May 29, at the Tower Club in Oxnard a VIP invitation only event was held to introduce the Regency Palms Oxnard Senior Living Oxnard’s newest senior living community. Representing the Regency Palms were Martha Bishop, Linda Hardy, Maria Kauten, Theresa Wheeler, Michael Bardelmeier and Christine Hann. Scheduled to open in Fall, 2018 it will provide senior living in a home-like setting, assisted living and memory care and three freshly prepared restaurant style meals and healthy snacks daily. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and music were provided at the well-attended event.

Regency Palms is a Meridian Managed Community that has senior communities located throughout the country. 1020 Bismark Lane, Oxnard 93033 -805-342-2001. for more information.

Online course provides an in-depth look about the safety of older drivers

“I’ve been driving for 35 years I think I know all the rules of the road.”

Driver Safety and Transition: Understanding Shared Interests, Challenges and Opportunities for Collaboration in Supporting Transportation Independence June 8 – July 6.

The course will be launched on June 8. Course registrants will have until July 6, 2018 to complete the course.

NADTC’s (National Aging and Disability Transportation Center) Spring 2018 online course provides an in-depth look at the concerns about the safety and well-being of older drivers and people with disabilities, planning for transportation independence and many of the age related challenges that make driving increasingly difficult. Additionally, the course will lay out the array of transportation issues, alternatives and accessible options that older adults, people with disabilities and their loved ones can begin exploring before it’s necessarily time to actually give up the keys, as well as suggestions and helpful tools to encourage and enable safe drivers in the years ahead.

The course platform is Section 508 compliant and will include pre-recorded presentations, a private discussion forum available to all course registrants and practical learning assignments. This course is free, but you will need to register to gain access to the course. The course is also self–paced: participants will need to meet the completion deadline but may watch the provided videos and complete the assignments on their own time.

Course registrants will have the opportunity to:

Learn about the transportation and mobility issues that need to be considered when providing support to older drivers or drivers who have disabilities and family caregivers so that they are able to stay connected in the community and maintain independence with or without a vehicle.

Gain a better understanding of the alternative transportation options that are available in their communities and learn how older adults and people with disabilities can best prepare for a non-driving future before it’s actually time to give up the keys.

Learn about how to access information about community transportation services, the range of transportation options that may be available and important considerations for matching transportation options and specific care needs, particularly for individuals with impairments.

Learn how to help older adults and people with disabilities create “a roadmap for transportation independence” by taking advantage of community mobility and transportation services in their community.

Registration is available through the NADTC Learning Center portal. After confirming your email address during self-registration, you will be prompted to complete a user profile. Registration will be open until June 15, 2018. Course materials will be posted starting June 8, 2017. The course is self-paced and participants can work through the materials on their own time.

For questions, and to register contact Melissa Gray, Program Manager, National Aging and Disability Transportation Center at

Three common ways your Social Security payment can grow after retirement

by Jackie Zaragoza Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Sierra West Area

You made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But, did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase?

Once you begin receiving benefits, there are three common ways benefit checks can increase: a cost of living adjustment (COLA); additional work; or an adjustment at full retirement age if you received reduced benefits and exceeded the earnings limit.

The COLA is the most commonly known increase for Social Security payments. We annually announce a COLA, and there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. By law, federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). More than 66 million Americans saw a 2.0 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018. For more information on the 2018 COLA, visit

Social Security uses your highest thirty-five years of earnings to figure your benefit amount when you sign up for benefits. If you work after you begin receiving benefits, your additional earnings may increase your payment. If you had fewer than 35 years of earnings when we figured your benefit, you will replace a zero earnings year with new earnings. If you had 35 years or more, we will check to see if your new year of earnings is higher than the lowest of the 35 years (after considering indexing). We check additional earnings each year you work while receiving Social Security. If an increase is due, we send a notice and pay a one-time check for the increase and your continuing payment will be higher.

Maybe you chose to receive reduced Social Security retirement benefits while continuing to work. You made the choice to take benefits early, but at a reduced rate. If you exceeded the allowable earnings limit and had some of your benefits withheld, we will adjust your benefit once you reach full retirement age. We will refigure your payment to credit you for any months you did not receive payments. Your monthly benefit will increase based on the crediting months you receive. You can find additional information about working and your benefit at

Retirement just got more interesting since you learned about potential increases to monthly payments. Social Security has been securing your today and tomorrow for more than 80 years with information and tools to help you achieve a successful retirement.

Hundreds of Ventura County residents will attend ceremony honoring local service members

Cypress Place Senior Living, a Ventura County retirement community, is hosting its 10th annual “Salute Our Veterans” event. Captain Douglas W. King, Chief Staff Officer for Naval Base Ventura County, will be the keynote speaker. Other headliners include County Veteran Services Officer Mike McManus, Ventura City Fire Chief David Endaya, Ventura Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Stephanie Caldwell, and nationally renowned Pipe Major Bill Boetticher.

Cypress Place is celebrating and honoring veterans – both residents of the community and members of the public – for their service and sacrifice for our country. Hundreds of Ventura County residents are expected to attend the recognition ceremony. A retired Bell UH-1 “Huey” MEDEVAC Army helicopter used in the Vietnam War, courtesy of Bryan Scofield Catering, will be on display, in addition to “Touching History,” a private war memorabilia collection by Tom Weaver. Cypress Place residents will also have their personal service memorabilia on display. The event is free and open to the public. A complimentary barbecue lunch will be provided, courtesy of the community.

Wednesday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cypress Place Senior Living 1200/1220 Cypress Point Lane

Living with diabetes

Learn about living with diabetes in a special seminar presented by the Ventura Council for Seniors in collaboration with the Lexington Senior Living. Speakers include Dr. Wallace Baker, Medical Director of Academic Family Medicine Clinic and Family Medicine Residency at Ventura County Medical Center, Andrea Ricketts, RN, CDE, PHN, MSN, ACNP-BC, Manager of Healthaware and Wellness, a program of Community Memorial Health Systems, and Heather Gilliam, RD, Community Memorial Health Systems.

The event will take place on Tuesday, June 19th from 10:00 to 11:30 am at The Lexington, 5440 Ralston Street, Ventura. Topics to be covered are “Diabetes and Your Body”, “Pre-diabetes—what is it? Is it reversible?” and “Diabetic Nutrition”.

A healthy lunch, compliments of The Lexington will be served immediately following the presentation to those who RSVP to 901-4886.

What you can do to minimize the cognitive effects of aging, Parkinson’s dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

by Patty Jenkins

The Ventura Parkinson’s Disease Support Group is pleased to welcome the Alzheimer’s Association as our guests to our monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 13, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at The Lexington Assisted Living, 5440 Ralston St, Ventura.

Phil Chandler, Community Voices Speaker for the Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Chapter at the Ventura County Regional Office, will present the educational program by the Alzheimer’s Association: “Healthy Living for your Brain and Body”. Phil is the owner of Right at Home of Ventura County, which provides in home care, helping seniors live independently at home. He also facilitates two support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association.

We will define dementia and discuss the similarities and differences between Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia. In addition, Phil will inform us about programs available through the Alzheimer’s Association that can help everyone challenged with all forms of dementia and their caregivers such as the “Safe Return” program, a 24 hour Helpline, and support groups for those affected by dementia in Ventura County.

The Ventura Parkinson’s Disease Support Group welcomes our members and care-partners, visitors and new friends who find themselves navigating the challenging cognitive changes associated with ageing, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. Please feel free to join us.

For those interested in attending this meeting, there is a drop-off/loading and unloading driveway in the front of the Lexington Assisted entrance. Extra parking is graciously available across the street in the Baptist Church parking lot. Reservations are not required. Attendees are invited to check in at the front desk for directions to the 3rd floor and sign-in at the meeting so we can keep in touch with you. For more information, call Patty at 766-6070.

The Ventura Parkinson’s Disease Support Group is an independent and volunteer-organized group, not affiliated with or a part of any other organization or group. Thanks to the generosity of the Lexington Assisted Living, we host our meetings every second Wednesday of the month from 1 to 3pm.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

by Jackie Zaragoza Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Sierra West Area

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. This is an opportunity for everyone, all over the world, to voice their opposition to abuses inflicted on some of the most vulnerable members of our society. For more than 80 years, Social Security has provided for the elderly as part of our everyday mission.

Sometimes a family member is incapable of representing themselves due to health reasons. Generally, we look for family or friends to serve as representative payees. Social Security’s Representative Payment Program helps our beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. You can read more about the program at

Family members and caregivers can protect the older people they love with help from the Representative Payee Interdisciplinary Training series. The training was developed in partnership with the Administration on Aging within the Administration for Community Living and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

It educates people and organizations about the roles and responsibilities of serving as a representative payee, elder abuse and financial exploitation, and effective ways to monitor and safely conduct business with the banking community. It also teaches ways to recognize the changes in an adult or senior’s ability to make sound financial decisions.

You can view our series of videos about this training at

Protecting the ones you love is part of securing today and tomorrow. And we’re here for you. You can always access our website and online services at