Q: My friend has chronic health problems and at times copes with them poorly. I think she could use some encouragement. Do you know whether some type of activity or class could help her attitude about these health problems? A: The answer is yes. There is a Healthy Living class this month at the Goebel Senior Adult Center at 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. The class is 2½ hours a week and runs for six weeks. Two facilitators provide coping mechanisms that help students live more healthfully. If you have a chronic health condition or are caring for someone with one, this course might help you. The series will begin March 22 from 1-3:30 p.m. and continue on March 29 and April 5, 12, 19 and 26. Screening and registration are required. Call Brenda at 495-6250 to see whether you are a good candidate for the class. Q: My parents are getting on in age and will eventually need my assistance. How do I start planning for this? A: There are three areas that you should become knowledgeable about: living arrangements, medical coverage and estate planning. Talk with your parents about their thoughts on future living arrangements when and if they become unable to care for themselves. If they want to remain in their home you must familiarize yourself with the community resources available to provide the support they will require. You should also research alternative living arrangements in case home is no longer an option. You will have to know the type of medical coverage your parents have and what it covers. You should obtain the name and telephone number of all of their physicians. Become aware of their illnesses, disabilities and especially medications. Estate planning includes legal, financial and final needs issues. You should find out if your parents have an advance directive for health care, a will or trust and a general power of attorney for finances. Know who has copies of these documents and where they are. If your parents have an attorney you should also have that person’s name and telephone number. Discuss with your parents their income and assets. This information will be of utmost importance if you need to place them in a long-term care facility or apply for government assistance. You should also know if they have long-term care insurance. Try to find out whether your parents have made funeral arrangements and possibly paid for them. If no plans have been made, encourage them to tell you what they want. Discuss all issues with your parents while they still can make appropriate decisions and make their wishes known. If you have siblings, make them part of that discussion. If your siblings do not want to or cannot be part of the discussions, make sure they know what has transpired. Happenings March 12: Compassionate Communication seminar. 4:30-6 p.m.; Senior Concerns Day Care Center, 401 Hodencamp Road in Thousand Oaks. For reservations, call 497-0189. March 13: Elder Abuse — Could It Happen To You? seminar. 1:30-3 p.m.; Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village. No reservations required. For more information, call the Advocate’s Office 495-6250. March 15: Community House of Hope fundraiser. 7 p.m.; Westlake Village Inn. For information about Community House of Hope and the fundraiser, call 492-6244 or visit http://www.ourhouseofhope.org . More …
Healthy Living class can he help people deal with chronic health issues
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.