By Alicia Doyle, Ventura County Star, January 2, 2012

Senior advocate Brenda Birdwell will offer free information and referral services at the Moorpark Active Adult Center on the fourth Wednesday of the month starting Jan. 25.

Birdwell, who oversees advocacy and outreach at Senior Concerns in Thousand Oaks, said her areas of assistance would be housing, transportation, legal and health-related issues, in-home care, facility placement, government benefits and completing forms and applications.

Seniors will have a trained, unbiased advocate with their best interests in mind to guide them through potentially difficult situations, said Angel Sierra, active adult center supervisor.

“Ms. Birdwell will be offering free information and referral services of local resources that many senior may be unaware of,” Sierra said. “Having access to someone who is knowledgeable and trained on local senior resources will enable seniors to seek information with ease and confidence.”

Older adults’ needs and concerns vary, Birdwell said.

“It could be anything from food to medical insurance and anything in between,” she said. “There is also concern regarding programs that are legitimate versus scams, and identity theft.”

Senior Concerns has been offering the free advocacy service for more than 25 years, said Lori Bliss, care coordinator and senior advocate for the nonprofit organization.

“It is and has been a valuable resource for countless seniors and their families who would not know where else to turn for help,” Bliss said. “Our nonprofit’s mission is to provide programs and services for aging seniors, families, caregivers and the community which support and improve their quality of life. With this in mind, we are trying to help as many people as we can make informed decisions about their health and welfare.”

For more information call 517-6261.

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