Q: I live in Thousand Oaks and am planning to give up my driver’s license. Some time ago there was a seminar on how to use public transportation. Do you know if that seminar will be offered again?

A: Yes, I have just been told that another Transportation Orientation Workshop is “back by popular demand.”

The Senior Adult Master Plan (SAMP) Transit Committee is offering another free orientation workshop July 23 from 12:30-2 p.m. at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.

The workshop will teach attendees how to get around Thousand Oaks as well as Ventura County without a car. Even if you are still driving this is great information to have for future needs and emergencies.

For information and reservations call the Goebel Center at 381-2744. Don’t wait too long — the last workshop was a sold-out affair.

Q: I just read that Social Security will start mailing benefit statements again. Have you any information?

A: Yes, I just found out that benefit statements will once again be mailed but only to specific beneficiaries.

Starting in September, for the first time since 2011, statements will go out before key birthdays such as ages 25, 30, 35, 40 and so on — but only to those people who are not yet receiving Social Security and have not registered for a personalized digital Social Security statement.

So if you are going to have a birthday ending in a “5” or “0” and are not collecting Social Security and do not have a personalized digital SS statement account — watch the mail box for a benefit statement.

Q: I am my dad’s caregiver and concerned about communications. He is not very talkative and when I talk to him I am never sure he hears me since he rarely makes any comments. What can I do?

A: Communication is vital, especially when a caregiver is trying to give instructions about medications, appointments or soliciting information that is necessary to making important decisions.

Many older people are subject to progressive loss of hearing. An estimated 60 percent of Americans over age 65 have some degree of hearing impairment, with men experiencing hearing loss more than women.

If you think you dad may be suffering from hearing loss be alert to his actions when speaking to him. Signs that could indicate a hearing problem include bending the head toward the speaker when attempting to hear, lack of expression when listening, inappropriate responses to questions and general inattentiveness.

There are several things you can do when talking with your dad that will help him hear or understand more easily. The biggest complaint from those who have a hearing problem has to do with background noise.

Whenever possible screen out background noise by turning off TV, radio or air conditioners or closing windows and doors to block out outside noise.

When talking with your dad sit facing him with the light shining toward you. This way he will be able to see your face for visual clues. This is also helpful for lip reading which surprisingly is done by most of us, hearing-impaired or not, when involved in conversation. If your dad sat facing the light you would be in a shadow and he would have difficulty seeing your face. It is also a good idea to make sure you have his attention before you start your conversation.

Speak clearly but do not over articulate. Speak in a low pitch at a moderate speed. Do not drop your volume at the end of a sentence.

Ask your dad to repeat the important parts of your conversation rather than asking him if he understood what you said. This way any misunderstanding can be corrected at the time of the conversation rather than later when it may be too late.


Tuesday: 1:30-3 p. m. Seminar: “How to Right a Wrong — Complain Effectively and Get Results” — at Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive, Westlake Village. For information call the advocate’s office at 495-6250.

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