Category Archives: Senior Living

The Importance of Palliative Care

People living with serious chronic illness often find themselves facing major challenges in navigating and understanding their care options within a complex medical system. Now, increasing research is supporting what many health care providers have long known: comprehensive palliative care that treats both symptoms and a person’s emotional and spiritual needs can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “unlike traditional programs for managing chronic disease, palliative care enhances symptom management, improves patient and family satisfaction scores, and significantly reduces hospitalization rates.”

Traditionally, palliative care had been considered an end of life or hospice option because at its inception it was delivered only through hospice programs where the focus was on pain management. Towards the end of the 1980s however, its scope began to expand beyond the boundaries of hospice to include care and services for patients at any stage of a chronic illness. Its focus came to include symptom management and comfort care early in a patient’s illness with the intent of improving quality of life while they fought disease.

Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association is at the forefront of this thinking with an integrated palliative care program that provides our patients the benefits of both our home health and hospice programs. It is for patients who are still pursuing aggressive treatment for their illness and do not want to limit their care options. Through palliative care, our treatment team addresses the whole family’s emotional, spiritual, and social needs in addition to the patient’s acute medical treatment and then assigns the necessary resources. Should the patient improve, they are then able to transition to home health and recovery. If, however, the patient’s condition worsens, the team is already in place to transition to hospice care.

Livingston has long been an advocate of a more holistic patient-centered approach when coordinating medical care. Our primary concern has always been for our patients’ overall wellbeing; to meet their spiritual and emotional needs in addition to their medical treatment. It is gratifying to see that research now bears this out.

Lanyard K. Dial, MD
President/CEO and Medical Director
Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice

No Tests, No Homework, No Kidding!

senior OsherRegistration for Winter Classes of Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State Channel Islands  begins in December. Classes start January 11th.   Select from 4 or 8 week classes held in Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ventura, and Ojai.  Topics  include art, music, history, anthropology, economics, literature, science.   Classes are taught by professors and other experts in their field.  Search  OLLI  CI for details.  Call  437-2748. Curiosity never retires.

Free community education classes and events

senior livingstonPrediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 79 million Americans—35% of adults aged 20 years and older—have prediabetes.

Half of all Americans aged 65 years and older have prediabetes.

Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

How can type 2 diabetes be prevented?

Research shows that modest weight loss and regular physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by up to 58% in people with prediabetes. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, which is 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. Getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking, also is important.

Many factors increase your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, especially if you are overweight.

To learn more about Diabetes Self-Management attend a classes through Livingston visit and

Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association 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. For other cities visit their website or call 642-0239 for more information or email

Adult Bereavement Support Group Wednesdays, December 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 6:30-8:00pm. These groups are open to individuals who have experienced loss and are free of charge.

Newly Bereaved Support Group Thursday, December 10th 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 Ventura: Tuesday, December 1st 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 Ventura: Thursday, December 3rd 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.  For information or to RSVP call Dinah Davis at 642-0239 ext. 739.

Ventura: Monday, December 14th 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.  For information or to RSVP call Dinah Davis at  642-0239 ext. 739.



Mediterranean diet makes brain younger

Much better for you then a cheeseburger every day.
Much better for you then a cheeseburger every day.

Senior News Line
By Matilda Charles

The Mediterranean diet has been in the news for years, but some of us aren’t sure if it offers any real benefits. Now we have a piece of the puzzle. In a recent study supported by the National Institutes of Health, participants experienced less brain atrophy after adhering to that type of diet, resulting in loss of fewer brain cells and maintaining cognition.

The Mediterranean-type diet (called MeDi in researcher parlance), consists of low intake of dairy, poultry, meat and alcohol, and higher intake of fruit, fish, cereal, vegetables and fats that are monounsaturated (such as olive oil).

A few specifics: Eating less meat resulted in larger total brain volume. Eating more fish was associated with greater cortical thickness. Based on these, researchers concluded that even these two diet adjustments had a positive benefit as part of the Mediterranean diet. The difference in two groups (those who adhered to a Mediterranean diet versus those who didn’t) was the same as aging five years. The average brain volume was 13 percent larger, which is significant.

This isn’t the first time the benefits to the brain have been studied. In 2010, a similar study concluded that the Mediterranean diet can help avoid damage to the parts of the brain that deal with thinking and memory. Those who adhered to the diet were 36 percent less likely to have damage. Those who generally stuck to the diet were 21 percent less likely.

Ask your medical provider whether you should add these types of foods to your diet and stay away from the more harmful ones. For more information, search online for “Mediterranean diet,” and look for sites by the Mayo Clinic, the American Heart Association and WebMD as places to start.



(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.


Does exercise delay Parkinson’s decline?

By Matilda Charles

People who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease might want to reconsider doing strenuous exercise as a means of keeping their physical abilities.

A recent short-term study concluded that normal, frequent movements are better for Parkinson’s patients than working out. The study was funded by some power hitters — the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Institutes of Health — and conducted by Parkinson’s research teams at the University of Michigan. Their conclusions bear paying attention to, even though they might seem contrary to logic.

Many Parkinson’s patients begin to reduce the amount of time they spend moving. Whether it’s a walk around the block, doing dishes or strolling the aisles of the grocery store, many prefer to forgo those daily activities to keep from falling or losing balance.

In the four-week study, using 48 participants, researchers looked at the result of non-exercise movement versus exercise activity. They did PET scans of the brain to look at dopamine levels and used questionnaires to learn about the participants’ level of activity and the type they did — daily routines or exercise.

Researchers tested whether a strenuous exercise program such as swimming or aerobics could help with symptoms. The answer: No, it’s the daily, small activities that were protecting motor skills. It’s those routine movements that were linked to fewer motor symptoms, even in those patients with lower dopamine levels.

So, say the researchers, get up and move. Any kind of movement appears to help, as long as it keeps you active and doing your normal, daily tasks.

Reminder: The open enrollment period to sign up or change your Medicare health and drug plan ends

Monday, Dec. 7.

Learn how to use your iPad

Trying to figure out how to use your new iPad? Need help navigating the many applications and features of your tablet? The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is offering a free “iPad Basics for Seniors” class Wednesday, November 18 at 9 a.m. at the SCAN Health & Wellness Center. During this two-hour, entry-level class, seniors will learn basic tablet terminology, initial set-up procedures, the features and gestures of their iPad, and more. The SCAN Health & Wellness Center is located at 6633 Telephone Road. The iPad Basics class is open to seniors 55+ who are new to the center. Please bring your iPad. To register for this class, please call 658-0365 as space is limited.

Vol. 9, No. 3 – November 11 – November 24, 2015 – A Tender Touch Senior Placement

senior connieHow ombudsmen make a difference
By Connie De La Rosa

Did you ever wonder what the Ombudsmen Program is and how they help?  Many families are not aware of this free service that can help resolve and investigate issues that your loved one may be facing while in a residential care facility.  The Ombudsman Program of Ventura is a non-profit program mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act,  that relies heavily on volunteer Ombudsmen to carry out the responsibilities of regularly weekly visits to the facilities and investigate complaints according to Sylvia Taylor Stein Executive Director of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program of Ventura County.

When a family calls the Ombudsmen program, the initial investigation process begins.  Depending on the severity of the complaint, it can take one day to one week for the volunteer Ombudsman to make the visit.  At that time, the Ombudsman will ask questions to the related complaint with the resident  in which at that time, it is up to the resident to give consent to the Ombudsman to follow through the complaint at the State level.  If the resident does not wish to pursue to the State level, the complaint is closed at that time. “ Many families are unaware that if their loved one is able to speak on their behalf, the Ombudsman must respect that resident’s wishes regardless of family involvement “ according to Sylvia Taylor Stein.  The program also provides awareness with educational informational presentations in communities such as  Skilled Nursing Facilities or Residential Care Facilities,  provides referrals for information regarding Health Care Counseling and Advocacy Program , Medi-Cal and Medi-Care.

For more information about the Ombudsman Program or how to become a volunteer please call 656-1986 or go on-line to

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.