Q: Will the Thousand Oaks Council on Aging name a volunteer Senior of the Year, as it has done in years past?

A: Yes. The nomination process is open. Nominees must be at least 60 and live in Thousand Oaks or in the city’s sphere of influence. They must have been a resident for three of the past five years.

Nominations are due by April 1 and can be made by any organization that or person who is in the Conejo Valley.

Nominees will be interviewed in May and the Senior of the Year will be named June 7 at a dinner at the Goebel Senior Adult Center.

To nominate someone, pick up a form at Senior Concerns Day Center, 401 Hodencamp Road; Senior Concerns Bargain Boutique, 80 E. Hillcrest Drive; or the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road.

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 in long-term care facilities.

The ombudsman’s main goal is to ensure residents get the services to which they are entitled. Many residents have little or no contact with the outside world or have control over their lives. The ombudsman serves as a resident advocate and helps improve their quality of life.

At least one experienced and trained ombudsman is assigned to each facility and must spend a specified period of time at that facility each month. He or she is available to help resolve problems regarding residents’ rights, physical and mental care, dignity, meaningful activities, legal or financial problems and red tape.

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of Ventura is a nonprofit whose services are free and confidential. It can be reached weekdays at 656-1986.

Q: The cost of food can make eating right difficult. How does one eat right but inexpensively?

A: A SCAN Health Plan seminar will address the problem of “Healthy Eating on a Budget.”

One presentation will take place from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Ave. in Ventura. The event is free, but registration is required. Call 648-3035.

A second presentation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. March 22 at the SCAN Senior Resource Center, 1001 Partridge Drive in Ventura. Register by calling 658-2182.

Watch “Happenings” in the coming weeks for dates, times and locations of more presentations.


Wednesday: “Social Security 101” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village.

Monday: “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. For reservations call 381-2744.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/mar/13/senior-advocate-betty-berry-writes-about-senior/#ixzz1pCxQEHG6
– vcstar.com

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