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Berry Betty's Column at Senior Concerns
Betty Berry
Betty Berry is a senior advocate and a columnist with the Ventura County Star, provides insight into issues concerning seniors.
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Knowledge helps you and your doctor prevent medication errors

by bberry on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:15 PM
Q: Lately it seems I am reading and hearing more and more about medication errors. It appears that these errors happen in numerous ways both at home as well as in health care facilities such as assisted living and hospitals. Do you have any safety tips for unsuspecting consumers?

A: A person can never be too careful in understanding their medications.

Let’s start at the doctor’s office. First make sure all of your doctors know about everything you are currently taking. This includes prescription...

Ombudsman gives voice to those in long-term care facilities

by bberry on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 1:10 PM
Q: I just placed a family member in a nursing facility and there was mention of the long-term care ombudsman. What does an ombudsman do?

A: “Ombudsman” is a Swedish word meaning “citizen representative.” The long-term care ombudsman is a state-certified community volunteer trained to investigate and resolve problems for residents of long-term care facilities.

The ombudsman’s main goal is to ensure residents get services to which they are entitled. Many residents have little or no contact with...

The growing need for family caregivers

by bberry on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 1:08 PM
Q: I am reading and hearing more and more about family caregivers and family caregiving. Do you have any facts or figures about this subject?

A: You are hearing more because the need for this type of care is growing every day.

During any given year, one-third of the U.S. population provides care for chronically ill, disabled or aged family members or friends. A total of 78 percent of adults living out in the community and in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source...

Goebel Center Offers Tax Services for Seniors

by bberry on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:46 AM
Q: Will the Goebel Senior Center be providing income tax preparation services this year?

A: Yes. The service is available Jan. 30 through April 11 and is for all adults 60 and older and for younger people with an income of $50,000 or less.

Services will be provided from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays at the Newbury Park Library, 2331 Borchard Road in Newbury Park, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays at the Goebel Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. No appointments...

Nursing Home Care Can Be Expensive and Requires Planning

by bberry on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:42 AM
Q: I have been talking with friends about the cost of nursing home care, and we differ on how these costs can be covered. Can you shed some light?

A: About half of all nursing home residents start out by paying costs out of their personal resources. As these resources decrease, those who have long stays eventually become eligible for Medi-Cal assistance. Medi-Cal, a state and federal program, will pay most nursing home costs for patients with very limited income and assets. Medi-Cal will, however, only...

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