Q: Will there be a Senior Concerns seminar on caregiving in January?

A: The Caregiving “U” series will start again in January with the presentation “Caregiver Wake Up Call.” This session of the series will look at any changes or problems that have recently occurred with your loved one and cover what these changes may mean and what actions should be considered.

There will be three speakers, and each will address a different aspect of working with these problems or changes.

Maureen Symonds, director of programs at Senior Concerns, will address changes that can occur and look at these changes to determine whether they are normal.

Lori Bliss, case manager at Senior Concerns, will look at these changes and problems and discuss what type of help may be needed to work with the conditions and provide resources that may be helpful in resolving the situation.

Carolyn Kopp, family consultant for the Coast Caregiver Resource Center, will address strategies needed when a loved one resists change and why such resistance may occur.

Reservations are suggested; call 497-0189.

The series will continue in February, March April and May.

Q: My husband recently received a document that had to be signed before a witness. The instructions said his signature could be guaranteed or notarized. Is there a difference?

A: Yes, there is a difference between a guaranteed signature and a notarized signature. However, on some documents, such as the one your husband received, either type of witness can be used.

Typically, only bank officers can provide a signature guarantee. When they do, the bank is certifying the signature is the same as the one the bank has on file and that the person is the same one the bank does business with. This is most commonly required for securities transactions.

If you do your banking with a credit union, you may want to verify it will guarantee your signature, because not all credit unions provide this type of service.

Requiring your signature to be witnessed by a notary is a much more common request. A notary public is a person who has been given authority by the state to administer oaths, witness documents and accept depositions. By witnessing your signature, a notary public is certifying your signature is genuine.

Q: Many people must use electrically operated life-support equipment. With the high cost of electricity, I was wondering if there is any program that helps with this expense?

A: There is a program to help with the cost of electrically operated life-support equipment. Southern California Edison has a program called Medical Baseline Allocation.

The program may be available if someone in the home requires regular use of electric life-support equipment or has a qualifying illness. If the applicant qualifies, that portion of household electricity used for life-support equipment will be billed at a lower rate. Use of such equipment as an aerosol tent, apnea monitor, compressor/concentrator, suction machine respirator, oxygen generator, iron lung, motorized wheelchair or dialysis machine, just to name a few, would qualify.

To start the qualifying process, a two-part application must be completed by both the applicant and the applicant’s doctor. It is the applicant’s responsibility to keep Edison informed of any changes in the type of equipment or total hours it is in use. Changes in equipment or usage may initiate the need to complete an updated application.

For more information, contact Southern California Edison at the telephone number shown on your electric bill.

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