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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.

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...

Visiting Long-Term Care Patients Can Fulfill a Need

by bberry on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 10:40 AM
Q: I was part of a group that visited long-term care facilities during the holiday season. I would like to continue visiting on my own this year but feel inadequate in relating to the residents. Are there any do’s and don’ts that would make the residents and me more comfortable during visits?

A: Visits of this type usually make most people a little apprehensive at first, and you are to be commended for wanting to continue your visits throughout the year.

Before you make any individual visits,...

Normal and Abnormal Memory Loss

by bberry on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 9:09 AM
Q: Some time ago you wrote a column about “senior moments” and what was normal versus abnormal. Could you print that again?

A: A number of years ago I attended a seminar on this topic given by the Alzheimer’s Association. At the end of the session, all attendees received a list of normal versus abnormal situations. I will be glad to share it with my readers again.

Forgetting where you left your keys is normal. Finding those keys and not knowing their purpose is abnormal.

Repeating a story to a friend you have previously told is normal, but repeating the same question over and over in the same day to the same person is not normal.


Adjustment Can Be Tough After Long Time Partner Dies

by bberry on Tuesday, December 24, 2013 9:05 AM
Q: My parents were married for more than 50 years, and now mom is gone. Dad insists on living alone but seems unable to manage his household. I’m sure this is common but wonder whether there is a way to plan for living alone? A:

It is fairly common. Women generally find they know too little about their finances, and men are not sure about how to perform many household chores.

After many years together, couples work like a single unit, and with both participating, the household runs smoothly....

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