Care Matters

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley - Free Home Accessibility and Safety Repairs/Modifications

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley is a non-profit organization that performs free home accessibility and safety repairs/modifications for older adults and disabled homeowners in Santa Clara County. Rebuilding Together brings communities and volunteers together to rehabilitate the homes of low income homeowners so that they may live in warmth, safety and independence.

We also serve other non-profit organizations so that they can dedicate their resources to the community rather than to facility repair.   If you are a senior homeowner living on a fixed income, please contact us at (408) 578-9519 and ask for an application or visit our website at Those also interested in volunteer opportunities are always welcome!
Peninsula Stroke Association - Upcoming Programs

FREE Stroke Caregivers Workshop: PSA invites those family members caring for and supporting stroke survivors to attend one of these monthly workshops. Find practical strategies and inspirational support before care giving takes its toll.  Every 2nd Thursday of the month from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm at Palo Alto Medical Foundation - Clark Building, 795 El Camino Real in Palo Alto.   Participation is FREE. Space is limited, to reserve your space, please email or call 650-565-8485.

2010 Ability Resource Fair:  PSA Annual Ability Resource Fair will be held in Thursday, November. Skills Plus (Santa Clara Adult Education) 1840 Benton Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050. This year's fair is planned in close collaboration with Skills Plus program and with a grant from The Health Trust.

Post Stroke Programs: You can meet new people and find practical information and inspirational support at these programs. For directions and additional information about any of these groups, call PSA at 650-565-8485.   You can find a support group near you in these cities for the remainder of September and the month of October: Los Gatos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo and City of Santa Clara.

Vist the PSA Website for more programs and details:

 Bill addresses long-term care for the elderly

By LARRY MITCHELL-Staff Writer Posted: 03/26/2010
SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Carol Liu is carrying a bill that aims to enable more Californians to keep living at home rather than in nursing homes.

She hopes to save the state money and allow elderly people to enjoy a better quality of life, said Robert Oakes, her press secretary, in a phone interview Wednesday.

Many services are available to help people needing long-term care,  but they are not very well coordinated, according to a fact sheet on Liu's legislation, Senate Bill 998.

Her bill would set up a uniform method for assessing the needs of people needing long-term care, assign case managers to help see that proper care is arranged, and give case managers the power to order renovations to homes to make them suitable for elderly people with disabilities.

Often, necessary fixes are simple, Oakes said. For example, an elderly person breaks his or her hip and goes into a nursing home. After recuperating, that person could return home to live if rails were put up around the house to help him or her get around.

The aim of Liu's bill is to serve seniors well and also to reduce what the state spends through Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care, Oakes said.

According to the text of the bill, older adults in California now number 4.4 million and make up 15 percent of the state's population. By 2030, they are expected to number 8.3 million and make up nearly 18 percent of the population.

The bill is to have its first hearing on April 14 before the Senate Health Committee. Liu is a Democrat from Flintridge/La Canada.

 Adult Safety ID Cards

Peace of mind at a  very low price!  Please click here for more information
 Computerworld - Can using the Internet make you smarter?

UCLA research finds that online searching can increase brain activity in older adults

ClarityLife C900 Amplified Mobile Phone

More than just a mobile phone, this is a mobile peace of mind. The ClarityLife C900™ gives you the freedom to stay connected with the ones you love and know that help is available wherever you go. The C900 is twice as loud as an ordinary cell phone and offers large buttons for easy dialing.

The C900 features a simple slider design, with a full keypad of large half-inch sized buttons that slides out when you need to dial a number. When fully closed, the C900 measures only 4 and a half inches in length. With a thickness of only one inch, the C900 will fit comfortably in your pocket or purse. The C900 weighs 5.4 ounces, which is about the same as a bar of household soap.

HealthTrust Silicon Valley Region Over the last 10 year

The Health Trust has provided over $100 million of community benefit through program services and grant making activity. Our programs include Meals on Wheels, AIDS Services, Children's Dental Services, Community Health Promotions, Family Health Insurance, Community Partnerships and Administrative Support Services. The Health Trust is a 501c3 community benefit organization. For Meals on Wheels: 408-961-9807


The California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) distributes telecommunications equipment and services to individuals certified as having difficulty using the telephone. CTAP is a California State mandated program, under governance of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Equipment and some network services are available at no charge to eligible consumers.

Californians who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled, blind, or who have low vision, cognitive impairments, or restricted mobility, are eligible to receive equipment with certification by a medical doctor, a licensed audiologist, a qualified state agency, or a hearing aid dispenser. TTY: 510-302-1179, 510-465-3877,


 Education for You and Your Loved Ones

 It is our goal to ease the burden caregivers face by empowering them with a clearer understanding of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia and ultimately to improve as much as possible the quality of life for both caregivers and their loved ones.

Senior Center Without Walls

Do you work with homebound older adults who might benefit from fun, stimulating activities,  social connection, and friendly conversation?

Senior Center Without Walls is a non-profit program offering Free group activities and classes  on the  telephone to older adults throughout Northern California who find it difficult to go to a community senior center. To learn more about this program, please  visit:
or call: 1-877-797-7299.

Blood Tests for Alzheimer's  Disease

Determining whether mild memory problems mark the beginning of an inevitable mental decline is one of the most difficult aspects of Alzheimer's disease. researchers at the Stanford University  School of Medicine have developed a blood test that is a step toward giving people an answer two to six years in advance of the onset of the disease.

"Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center-Spring 2008"

"Hydrating The Elderly"

From a recent Life Leger article in Elder Issues:

"Nagging your elder to drink more water is not going to solve the problem."

"To illustrate that few seem to have real solutions I have included this quote from a study of hydration in the elderly. "While the study's findings are important to basic science, they don't have any immediate practical consequences". But, there are real consequences, such as 14,000 deaths, mostly elderly, during a heat wave in France in 2003. There is evidence to suggest that more than 30 percent of older people coming into emergency rooms have a dehydration-related illness as part of their diagnoses. If "Water Pills" are part of the medication regimen you must maintain extra vigilance."

For more on hydration issues see:

Just dial 211

As of June 2007 2-1-1 is serving approximately 198 million Americans, approximately 65% of the U.S. population. By the end of 2008 80% of the population is expected to have 2-1-1 access.

Yes, it is that simple, 911 for emergency, 211 for community services like these listed below. If you are not sure what services you need the counselor who answers your call will be happy to guide you after you explain the situation.

  • Basic Human Needs Resource: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance.

  • Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children's Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.

  • Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs.

  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services.

  • Volunteer Opportunities and Donations

 Lifeledger Caregiving Tips:

The High Cost of Prescription Drugs - CBS 60 Minutes Report on the Influence of the Pharmaceutical Lobby on Our Elected Officials - 2007

"If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C."

60 Minutes presents a comprehensive report called "Under the Influence" on this important issue. For those of you who may have missed this episode earlier this year, you can review the entire report at the link below:

Bed Sores
(From LifeLedger Caregiving Tips)

As soon as someone loses mobility and remains in one position for long periods of time they will be at high risk for bedsores.

Bed sores are areas of damaged skin and the under laying tissue that are caused by staying in one position for too long. They commonly form where your bones are close to your skin, such as your ankles, buttocks, back, elbows, heels and hips. Pressure sores can cause serious infections, some of which are life-threatening. It is not just a problem in nursing homes, you need to be constantly watchful and contact medical personal anytime you are even suspicious a bed sore may be forming.

For more on this topic, visit Elder Issues.

Airplanes and Electric Carts

If you have an elderly loved one who is flying and wants to bring his/her own wheelchair or electric cart, here is some useful information offered  by a family member:

"Depending on the plane, some allow
electric cart and wheel chairs to go in the baggage department. In that case you have to bring electric tape to tape all wires and disconnect the battery. Also, strong tape is needed to secure movable parts. A van with a lift is of course needed at the airport."

Trusts Explained

Elder Issues has posted an informative article explaining the various types and uses of trusts.

"There are many kinds of trusts. However, these instruments are generally reserved for estates with a value of over $50,000. It is important to discuss trust arrangements with a professional adviser to understand the income and tax consequences of the various types of trusts and trust provisions. "

Click here to access the full article.


WHAT: Trained professionals will teach you how to lead an older
driver through a 15 minute, 12-point checklist while the driver is sitting in his/her vehicle. You will learn to recommend adjustments to make a senior's vehicle "fit" better and enhance the senior's safety.

WHY: AAA's goal is to keep seniors driving safely for as long as
possible. People over 65 are the fastest-growing population in the United States. By 2030, there will be more than 30 million older drivers on our roads. By becoming a CarFit Event Technician and/or Coordinator, you will be able to conduct your own CarFit events or assist at other events to help mature drivers learn how to make their car "fit" them.

WHO: Health care professionals, occupational therapists, traffic
safety professionals and anyone who provides services to seniors.

CONTACT: Shawn Fong, Program Manager, City of Fremont Human Services (510) 574-2033 or to register for the training.

CarFit is an educational program developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association.

For more information on CarFit, visit:

Jewish Home and Hospital Life Care

The Jewish Home and Hospital Life Care System website contains many helpful articles and tips for seniors, family members ad caregivers, such as: Dementia/Alz.'s Disease, nutrition, foot care, etc.

Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program/Area Agency on Aging

Life Ledger Caregiving Tips:
Phone: 561-265-0016

Newsletter for Drug Savings

Family Caregiver Alliance

This organization serves as an information clearinghouse for caregivers and sponsors education and training programs nationwide.

180 Montgomery Street, Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94104

Catholic Charities


Clients of the day care center are homebound older adults whose caregiver needs a break. You would be assisting the day center staff in a variety of activities and educational programs. These activities would include arts and crafts, painting, gardening, sing-a-longs, story telling, exercise, and providing companionship. If you have a talent to share, bring it along.



Provide 2-4 hours of in-home companion care (no medical or personal care), once a week, to a homebound, older adult who cannot be left alone, so that the caregiver can take a much needed break away from the home.                        


Drive homebound older adult to medical appointments or to the grocery store, remaining with them during their appointment or grocery shopping, and then driving them back to their home. Also, grocery shop by list for a homebound older adult (not able or choosing not to go out).

For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Day Break Program or to sign up to volunteer, please contact Fran Kiernan, Volunteer Coordinator at: (408) 270-4900. 

What is the Senior Companion Program?

This program is offered by Office on Aging and receives funds from the Corporation for National Service, Council on Aging of Santa Clara County and City of San Jose, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services.

Independent seniors visiting frail seniors in their homes on a regular basis. Senior Companions  provide respite to family members or care givers who find it difficult to provide the level of support needed to prevent institutionalization.  Senior Companions also assist in the discharge of frail seniors from acute hospital or rehabilitation facilities to resume a greater degree of independent living.

For more information about Senior Companion Program and how to become a Senior Companion, please contact (408) 277-5506.

About Transitions Program!

Transitions is a community service program designed to enhance the quality of life for adults, children and their families facing life-limiting illness. Services include emotional support, education and practical assistance. Individualized plan is formulated for client and their families based on specific needs. There are no fees for services provided to Transitions clients. The program utilizes trained and dedicated volunteers to provide assistance with:

  • Accessing and coordinating community support services and resources

  • Emotional and spiritual support

  • Errands, chores, food preparation

  • Transportation

  • Breaks for the family, care giver

  • Friendship and companionship

  • Complimentary services such as art therapy, massage, nail and hair care

  • Dealing with feelings of confusion regarding complex decisions and emotional issues related to the life-limiting illness

  • Provide guidance in discussing your condition with your doctor and other medical professionals

  • Understanding advance health care directives and how they apply to you

  • Facilitating communications with you family regarding your illness

More information on Hospice of the Valley

Why Should I be Concerned about Long Term Care?

We all know someone who is growing older and may not be able to care for themselves as well as they once could. An elder may need help to drive, cook, shower, go shopping, or follow medication directions. They may be showing marked signs of increased forgetfulness. They need Long Term Care. 

What are the options?

Medical and non-medical support care can be brought into the home or the elder may need to move into an assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care  facility.

 How is Long Term Care Paid For?  

The cost of long term care is paid for by the elder, either with LTC insurance or from their savings, or from the proceeds from the sale of their home. In some cases, Medi-Cal pays for skilled nursing, ONLY. 

What is Long Term Care Insurance?

The new long term care policies today provide a daily benefit ( $100.00 a day or more ) for at home care support and for assisted living or skilled nursing care. This policy shares in the high cost of long term care’s rising costs. There are plans that have a return of premium, so if you do not use the benefit the money put in will be returned.

 Who Should Have Long Term Care Insurance? 

Anyone who is healthy and between ages 54 & 75 and would like to maintain their independence and have choices about their care.



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