Category Archives: Senior Living

Robocalls are more than annoying

senior charles
There is an easier way to stop robocalls.

By Matilda Charles

We’ve all experienced it: We rush to answer the phone, and it’s a robocall, a computer-generated message trying to sell us something or tell us a lie. We’ve won a free cruise. We’ve won a big lottery prize. Our “warranty” is about to expire.

There are any number of reasons to hate robocalls, but for seniors there are two serious ones. We could fall as we dash to the phone. And we might get caught up in whatever scam is involved in the call.

If you pick up the phone and press a number to ask to be removed from the list, no one will answer, and you’ve only verified that your number works.

If you select another number to press to talk to someone to ask to be taken off the list, you get added to a special list of people who actually answer the phone and are immediately transferred to someone who gives you the sales pitch. If you hesitate even for a second in saying no, you go on a list of people are not only answer the phone, but press buttons to talk to people and who can likely be sold whatever they’re selling.

Do you see where this is going? The answer is: Do not answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number.

One difficulty in combatting robocalls is that the scammers behind them are hard for authorities to trace. They could be anywhere in the world, and they ignore the Do Not Call registry.

If you’re particularly annoyed by these robocalls, go online to the government site at and search for robocalls. Or look at Consumer Reports robocall information at and consider signing the petition. You also can call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-888-225-5322.

(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.


Assisted Home Health and Hospice gave away free manicures and pedicures to breast cancer survivors and current fighters

Whitney LaBrie, a guest  and Deanna Leslie were there as Assisted Home Health and Hospice  gave away free manicures and pedicures to  breast cancer survivors and current fighters. The event was held at Jessica’s Nails and Spa. Over 50 women from Ventura attended.  They also gave away free bracelets, hats and scarves. All the ladies were pampered with champagne and finger foods.

Ventura City Mayor shared the history of Ventura at the Ventura Townehouse

Mayor touched on issues about land, beach, homelessness and traffic.

Cheryl Heitmann, Ventura City Mayor, was the guest speaker at the Ventura Townehouse  (VTH) on Thursday, October 22.  Almost one-hundred were in attendance.

Mayor Heitmann shared the history of Ventura and spoke of many projects she is working on around the city. Mayor Heitmann expressed the need for reclaimed water that is currently being tested at our local Ventura Water Pure Demonstration Facility. The Mayor said they have bus tours free to the public to visit the water plant.

She touched on issues about land, beach, homelessness and traffic concerns. The Mayor also shared how very important seniors and their concerns are since 27% of Ventura’s population are seniors and that number is growing rapidly.

She brought special attention to the city’s 150th Anniversary Celebration including projects like A Million Acts of Kindness, Partner Programs, Story Time Events at the Library, Poster Contest, Ventura Legacy Videos by

The Ventura Townehouse was a sponsor of the Kick-Off Event Sunday, held on November 8 at the Museum of Ventura County and also the 150th Anniversary Celebration to be held on Saturday, April 2.

Ventura Townehouse is also doing their part in sponsoring the 150th tile mural to be created by artist Michael Kelly. The mural will be installed on the wall in front of the Mission School. VTH will have their name placed permanently on the wall as one of the sponsors.

Ventura Townehouse residents are participating in the Million Acts of Kindness the Mayor has put up on her website at to reach the million acts of kindness by April 2nd in time for the 150th Ventura City Anniversary.

The Ventura Townehouse’s intergenerational partnership run by Anne Howorth, VTH Activities Director, include the Pacific High School Students and VTH residents are committed to get as many acts of kindness posted on the website as possible. VTH plans to create a “Kindness Tree” to display all of the acts of kindness once they are all collected.

If you have witnessed any acts of kindness let Samantha or Anne at the Ventura Townehouse know at  642.3263 or email at Leave a phone number, act of kindness and a photo if possible. “Let’s share 1 million acts of kindness to celebrate Ventura’s 150th birthday!” Samantha Crisp, Director of Marketing.

Vol. 9, No. 2 – October 28 – November 10, 2015 – A Tender Touch Senior Placement

“Holiday Depression in aging loved ones”
By Connie De La Rosa

During the holidays, we often thing of joyful times with family and friends but some of our elders, it can be a time of sadness, isolation and loneliness.  “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is prevalent during the holidays and winter season due to issues such as being confined indoors, missing loved ones or chronic illness/pain” states Heidi Johnson, MFT Intern of psychological services in Oxnard.

Mrs. Johnson states that depression in the elderly looks different than the younger generations as it can mask itself as health related issues which often causes the depression to go on untreated. For example, symptoms such as  decreased or no appetite, sleep disturbances, incontinence, chronic pain, memory loss/confusion, mood disturbances and fatigue, loss of self worth, increased use of alcohol/drugs and fixation on death. Diabetes and urinary tract infections may also be signs; however, please consult with your primary physician.

What to do when someone is in imminent danger?

Ventura County Crisis Team is 1-866-998-2243
Call 911 for emergency services
Go to nearest hospital emergency room
Call National Suicide Hotline toll-free, 1-800-273-8255 or TTY 1-800-799-4889
Call your doctor

If they are not in imminent danger, acknowledge and offer to work together in

seeking assistance for treatment.  There are Community mental health centers that can provide treatment on ability to pay.  For more information, call 200-7756.

Exercise your mind at SCAN

Brain Gym is a program of physical movements that enhance learning and performance by developing the brain’s neural pathways. Brain Gym will increase the ability to remember and be organized, increase physical coordination, reduce stress and improve memory. The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is hosting once a week Brain Gym classes starting Tuesday, November 3. Seniors aged 55 and older are invited to register for Brain Gym, set for November 3 – 24, every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. – Noon. The cost is $20.00 for four classes. To register for Brain Gym classes, please RSVP to 658-0365 as space is limited.

Zentangle Art Class November 5 at SCAN Health & Wellness Center

Looking to relieve stress, improve hand-eye coordination, and rebuild fine motor skills, look no further than Zentangle! This new art form is fun, relaxing and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is offering “The Art of Zentangle” class on Tuesday, November 5, from 9 a.m. – noon. The class costs $25.00 and includes a mini art kit.

Free  Balance Screening November 11 at SCAN Health & Wellness Center

Seventy five percent of seniors 70 years old have some balance impairment. Having a strong sense of balance is crucial in preventing falls in older adults. The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is offering free balance screenings on Wednesday, November 11, from 12 noon – 3 p.m. The screenings are available to those 55 and older who have had a recent stroke, fall, or surgery. They will be conducted by Amy M. Griffin, MS, PT – President & Lead Physical Therapist for Equilibrium.

The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is at 6633 Telephone Road, Suite 100 . For more information or to make an appointment, call 658-0365.

VCAAA has a wealth of information for you

senior VCAAAUsing these services will keep us happy.

The Ventura Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) has a wealth of information available from tips for Family Caregivers, Senior Nutrition, guides to good health, and much, much more. Some resources are available online at “Pamphlets & Brochures” such as the agency’s brochure with programs and information, city contacts, and Fall Prevention. Many pamphlets and guides they are unable to provide online because of copyright laws, but they do have them available for pickup or by mail. For more information call Information & Assistance Specialist 477-7300 or 1-(800) 510-2020.

Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)

The purpose of the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) is to provide free counseling and community education on Medicare, Medicare Part D, managed care, and other health insurance issues. If you wish to access this service, you may contact your local senior center to make an appointment or contact the local office at  477-7310. For additional HICAP resources or information, please call HICAP 477-7310 or 1-800-434-0222.

Health Insurance Information and Assistance

Agencies offer assistance with filling out forms, submitting bills, and completing other paperwork necessary for reimbursement

Case Management programs arrange for, and monitor the use of, community services to help the frail elderly, and/or disabled to avoid or delay institutional placement while fostering independent living. These services are offered by public, nonprofit, and for-profit agencies.

Case Management is the next step after contacting Information & Assistance.  Case Management may be needed when a person is released from the hospital after an illness or accident or a family caregiver is feeling overwhelmed or because a person would like to plan for future long term care needs.  A social worker and/or a nurse known as a “Case Manager” will meet with the client in their home for an assessment of their needs and available resources.

  1. After this meeting, a plan for service known as a “care plan” is created with the client’s input to address concerns, outline interventions, and specify who is responsible for each intervention.
  1. Then the Case Manager refers the client to community-based services, monitor those services, and provide monthly contacts & periodic home visits.
  1. The Case Manager also helps to solve problems that come up as the care plan is implemented.

Most Care Plan items are provided by family members, outside agencies, and as funding permits, purchased with funds provided by the State of California.

The Information and Assistance Program is provided under the guidelines of Title III B of the Older American’s Act and is designed to link persons aged 60 and above (and their families and caregivers), who are in need of assistance to the appropriate programs and services in their communities that can help solve the problems faced by older adults. This is considered the entry point/introduction to the services system network.

I & A Specialists assess the needs of the individual calling for services, link the caller to specific services, provide advocacy, and follow-up to see that the services were received. They can provide accurate, up-to-date program information and availability, eligibility criteria, and time to obtain services, both public and private. A specialist can provide guidance in coordinating existing resources to promote independence and quality of life.

Whether you are looking for a specific organization to address a concern, need a phone number of a particular program, require assistance in helping to identify problems, or require an advocate to ensure you or a loved one receives the services they need, the I & A staff can help you get answers. For more information call Information & Assistance Specialist 477-7300 or 1-(800) 510-2020 or submit a request for information below.

Consider the conversation

Is it time for you to have “the talk”? No, not the one about the birds and the bees. Long after asking the question, “Mommy, where do babies come from?” there will come a time to ask, “Mom, how can we best care for you?” Consider the Conversation helps us know how to ask the question and have it answered without the anticipated awkwardness associated.

The following are quotes from reviews on Amazon:

“Be prepared to be terrified, illuminated, profoundly moved, confronted and warmly hugged all within an hour. Just knocked me off my feet!”

“It made me consider a topic I have been avoiding. We all owe it to our parents, and to our children, to have these important conversations.”

“I genuinely believe that every person over the age of 40 years old in America needs to see this piece.”

The Ventura Council for Seniors will present the film and follow-up discussion on November 4th at the Ventura Adult and Continuing Education (VACE) Center, 5200 Valentine Rd. The presentation will be from 10 am to noon. A light lunch will be served from noon to 1 pm, compliments of VACE, for those who RSVP by Monday, November 2. Please call 648-3035 to make reservations.

San Diego-based Medicare provider is expanding to Ventura

Mission Home Health, a San Diego-based Medicare provider is expanding its footprint in Southern California and is now accepting patients in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. In mid-October, they acquired the Medicare certified division of Help Unlimited, a Ventura-based company that has served patients across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties for the past 40 years.

Founded in 2009, Mission Healthcare initially provided physician ordered home health, but quickly expanded to include other home based services including hospice and private duty homecare. Clinically owned and operated, Mission Home Health offers reliable, thoughtful professional care with locations in San Diego, Temecula, Riverside, San Bernardino, Palm Springs and Orange County.

Mission Home Health services adults and seniors who are recovering after a hospital or facility stay, or need additional support to remain safely at home to avoid unnecessary hospitalization.  These Medicare-certified services may include short-term nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, and assistive home health care.  Mission Home Health is a Medicare-certified agency where Medicare, Medi-Cal and most private insurances are accepted.

Mission Home Health’s goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of its patients, their families and their healthcare partners.  Mission Home Health believes there’s no place like home when it comes to providing its patients with the utmost care and comfort while offering a variety of in-home treatment options to meet every need.

For more information about Mission Home Health, visit online or call (888) 871-0766 or on Facebook at and Twitter @HomeWithMission.

LMVNA offers Memory Stars and hosts free classes

Memory Stars can be purchased for $25 each.

Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association (LMVNA)has begun its 31st Annual Light Up A Life campaign. The beginning of the campaign coincides with National Hospice and Palliative Care month, November, and runs through the holiday season. The campaign goal is to raise $75,000 to benefit Livingston Hospice.

Livingston invites all residents of Ventura County to support this year’s Light Up campaign. Memory Stars can be ordered online for $25 each at or by calling 642-0239. Event sponsorship is also available.

Livingston Hospice is a special kind of care for the terminally ill, their families and caregivers. Hospice care addresses and meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients. Services are provided in the patient’s home, wherever their home may be. Livingston’s hospice team, including our medical director, nurses, social workers, spiritual care providers and volunteers, combine their expertise, passion and compassion in providing end of life care.  Bereavement services are provided to family and friends by our dedicated staff of grief counselors.

Livingston also hosts free monthly education classes throughout the county which include the following in Ventura. Given at Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association office, 1996 Eastman Ave., Suite 109.  Call 642-0239 for more information or email

Social Services/Bereavement Groups

Adult Bereavement Support Group Wednesdays, November 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 6:30-8:00pm at.  These groups are open to individuals who have experienced loss and are free of charge

Newly Bereaved Support Group Thursday, November 12th from 6-7:30pm.  This monthly group is designed for adults who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one and is free.  These groups meet every 2nd Thursday of each month.

Diabetes Classes

Tuesday, November 3rd from 1-2:30pm.  These meetings are held on 1st Tuesday of each month.  General information is provided about Type 2 Diabetes with emphasis on the development of an individualized plan of care that includes diet, medication, exercise and blood sugar monitoring.

Joint Replacement Classes

Thursday, November 5th from 1:00-2:00pm. You will learn what to expect before, during and after knee or hip replacement surgery and how to be an active participant in your care. These meetings are 1st Thursday of each month.

Monday, November 9th for both English and Spanish speaking.  English 4:00-5:00pm and Spanish 5:30-6:30pm. You will learn what to expect before, during and after knee or hip replacement surgery and how to be an active participant in your care.

Ventura providing senior services

senior providing senior servicesVentura’s Adult/Senior Services provides thousands of adults, 18 years and up, with recreational, specialty, social and health and fitness programs at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center (VAAC), 550 N. Ventura Avenue, 648-3035, open M-F 9am- 3pm. Many classes are open to adults 18 years and up and some are open to adults 50 years and up.

The public is invited to “Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject” on Wednesday, November 4, 10 am to 12 pm, at Ventura Adult Continuing Education, 5200 Valentine Rd. This powerful film that examines how Americans live at the end of their lives and how to prepare for this final chapter of life. Free but RSVP (lunch provided) at 648-3035. Presented by VCS, Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice and Ventura Adult Continuing Education.

You are invited to participate in the Ventura Council for Seniors board meetings held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9:30a-11:00a at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center . The Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS), formerly the Ventura Council on Aging, formed in 1975, is designated by the Ventura City Council as the representative organization of all seniors (50 and over) in the City of Ventura.

Westside Café.  Join on Monday through Friday, 11:30am to 12:30pm, in the Ventura Avenue Adult Center’s Two Trees Banquet Room for the friendliest lunch hour in Ventura with a meal that includes a nutritious hot entrée, salad bar, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Check out the Adult pages of My Ventura each issue for Westside Café Days, seasonal celebrations that mark birthdays and feature special desserts and musical entertainment. **Suggested donation: $3 per meal for those 60 and over and $5 for those under 60. At Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N Ventura Ave.

The Home Delivered Meals Program is designed for homebound individuals 60 years and up who live in Ventura. For more information call 648-3035.