We are delivering measurable outcomes in our community!

By |2022-02-03T15:17:40-08:00February 3rd, 2022|In the News, Information, News / Events|0 Comments
Hello,
It continues to be a busy time at Senior Concerns. We are grateful for the support of our volunteers, Cities, County, grantors, donors and staff. Please read our February update to discover what we have been up to.
We are delivering measurable outcomes in our community
 
MEALS AND MORE
This past year, we delivered more than 288,000 meals to 700 homebound seniors through our Meals On Wheels/Home Delivered Meals program. The program grew from delivering 800 meals per week to delivering more than 6,000 meals per week at the height of the pandemic. To meet increased need, we expanded our partnerships beyond Los Robles Hospital to include Country Harvest Restaurant (and Brent’s Deli for a time), to prepare a portion of the meals.
And as we like to say, our program delivers “more than a meal.”
  • In addition to providing meals and a check in from one of many beloved and vital volunteers, we provide important information to our homebound clients, such as a fact sheet on how to recognize heat stroke and what to do, and information on scheduling vaccines and boosters.
  • With grant funding from Southern California Edison, we provided every senior who receives meals with a special flashlight that automatically turns on when the power goes off, helping to keep them safe in the dark, and avoid trip hazards.
  • For some this was the only holiday gift they received. During December, each meal recipient received a gift bag filled with items such as warm throw blankets, socks, tea bags and mugs, and soothing hand lotion, and throughout the year, service groups and school groups provide handmade cards to deliver to homebound seniors.
  • It has been a challenging year. Sadly, we have also heard from seniors on our program who were so severely depressed they were contemplating suicide. While only a handful, we were able to connect them with our social workers, as well as behavioral health resources to get them the help and support they needed.
ADULT DAY SUPPORT
On January 3, 2022, we were finally able to re-open our Adult Day Program! It just did not feel the same for 21 months without groups of chatting seniors, music playing, sing-a-longs and joyful activities in the halls of Senior Concerns. The program focuses on small groups of person-centered, purposeful programming. The program runs Monday through Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Space is limited due to licensing COVID protocol. If interested, contact Martha Shapiro, LCSW at 805-497-0189 or mshapiro@seniorconcerns.org
 
The feedback from the participants attending and their families has been heartwarming. One caregiver commented “I am so thankful, as you know, that Senior Concerns is open again. And while you are caring for my husband there, you are also providing care for me by taking on the caregiver role for 12 hours a week. That time is an absolute gift for me!!!!”
 
EXPERT COUNSEL
Providing compassion and expert advice, our Social Work team has fielded more than 4,000 calls from seniors and family caregivers. They have provided one-on-one support, resources, and information to address concerns, link seniors to vital services, and help reduce overall stress. Our team is also able to alleviate the anxiety felt by many of the seniors and family caregivers who reach out by staying with them on the phone as we reach out to other agencies. We remain with the senior until the issue is resolved.
 
HELP FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS
We know how difficult it is to have a loved one dealing with dementia or a chronic illness. Our Caregiver Support Center offers education, programming and resources to help. We continue to provide limited in-home respite (free in home care) in partnership with local care agencies, and offer one-on-one case management with our social workers. Due to increasing demand, we have added to the number of caregiver support groups we offer. Participation in the caregiver support groups has grown from 36 people per month to 120!
 
Senior Concerns will be hosting Caregiver Recognition Day to honor and support family caregivers in our community on Thursday, March 10 from 1-3:00 p.m. on Zoom. This annual FREE event is designed to give family caregivers the chance to renew their spirit, reduce their stress, and enjoy an uplifting and empowering program. This year’s program includes presentations from experts on the Value of Connections to Combat Social Isolation, Having Faith in Yourself: How to Trust Yourself to Do the Right Thing, and Having the Courage to Advocate for Your Loved One and Feel Good About It. The program will have several breakout opportunities for family caregivers to talk and share with one another in small groups with experienced moderators. There will be fun activities, music, and videos.
And of course, the day would not be complete without an amazing goody bag for the first 100 registrants which can be picked up at a drive by event at Neftin Westlake Mazda Volkswagen a few days before the event. If you are a caregiver of an aging loved one in our community, you are welcome to join this free event by registering online HERE or by contacting Senior Concerns at 805-497-0189. 

 

IN-HOME GERIATRIC ASSESSMENT SERVICES
Receiving panicked calls from family who did not live in the area to have eyes on their senior loved one, and could not be there to provide hands on care, last year we launched a program providing In-Home Geriatric Assessments by our trained social workers. Our In-Home Geriatric Assessment provides a review of care needs and options, evidenced-based assessments focused on depression, cognition, and quality of life, and review of home safety, nutrition status, and social support, as well as discussion of legal protections (Advance Directives, Powers of Attorney, and POLST) and healthcare/long-term care planning.

 

COMMUNITY EDUCATION
To keep seniors and their loved ones informed, we moved our monthly Path to Positive Aging seminar series to Zoom. Hosting the seminars on Zoom has allowed us to bring in national experts and reach a greater number of people. All seminars are recorded.
ACCOLADES
In 2021, Senior Concerns was named Nonprofit of the Year by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging named Senior Concerns 2021 Business of the Year and awarded the organization it’s Legacy Award. California Lutheran University awarded Senior Concerns’ President Andrea Gallagher the 2021 William E. Hamm Award in recognition of her leadership of Senior Concerns during the pandemic. Just this year, Logix Credit Union selected Senior Concerns as one of its five Community Stars charities.

 

SUCCESS STORY
Since the beginning of COVID, sixty-nine year old Emilia has been dependent on Senior Concerns’ Meals On Wheels program to provide her with meals seven days a week. She lives in section 8 subsidized housing in Thousand Oaks.
 
Emilia was experiencing stomach aches and weight loss. She was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-D); in addition to her high blood pressure and allergies. She was given a medication prescription for 3 doses a day for the IBS-D.
 
Senior Concerns meal coordinator worked with our Director of Nutrition to see that Emilia’s dietary issues were addressed by changing the foods she received. Several food items and types were eliminated, and others added. Senior Concerns was able to accommodate her dietary restrictions working in concert with our meal providers.
 
After just one week, Emilia reported feeling better. After two weeks she was overwhelmed with joy by how much better she felt. She was down to 1 or no doses a day of the IBS-D medicine, and her symptoms had ceased. Her skin was glowing. She had no idea how well she could feel just with a change of diet.

 

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
One way our volunteers can help and make a difference is at our fundraising events. Working at our events is fun and rewarding, as you get to experience the excitement of the event, while also supporting our efforts to raise funds for our programs. We are looking for volunteers for our 28th Annual Neftin Westlake Mazda Love Run. This is a great family event with volunteer opportunities that will appeal to everyone. We will need more than 200 volunteers in various roles starting on Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5. The Love Run raises vital funds for Senior Concerns Meals On Wheels/Home Delivered Meals program.
 
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities with the Love Run to choose from. Signing up online will allow you to choose the position and times that work best with your schedule.
 
All volunteers receive a custom t-shirt and get to experience a truly fun event. It’s the perfect opportunity for an individual or a group! Learn more and sign up to volunteer HERE!
 
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