KPBS Follow-Up Interviews on Sequestration

August 26, 2013

Last week KPBS came by the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center to follow-up on the effect that federal across-the-board budget cuts have on low-income seniors in San Diego County.

Proposed cuts to Senior Community Centers’ Meals Program have increased to $233,000 since sequestration first became a reality in March of this year. At a cost of $2.50 per meal, these cuts leave 93,200 meals unfunded. While the gridlock in Washington to figure out the final budget is getting dangerous, Senior Community Centers is committed to serve high quality food and not turn any hungry seniors away.

Empty Plates

Listen to the interview and find out what seniors have to say here:

August 22, 2013 – KPBS Follow-Up Interview on Sequestration


Is San Diego Ready for an Aging Population?

July 22, 2013

According to a 2013 survey that was commissioned by Pfizer, Inc. and Generations United, San Diego area residents are concerned about our city and ourselves as we get old. With nearly 10,000 people turning 60 every single day and San Diego’s senior population growing by 75% to nearly 1,000,000 people over 60 by 2030, I am not surprised.

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(The tables are always full at Senior Community Centers)

The San Diego survey reveals the following findings:

  • 70% of respondents in the San Diego area agree their workplace values diversity of age but their top work related fear is not being able to get a new job (63%) followed closely by not being able to retire when planned (58%).
  • Only 22% of respondents feel the community is very prepared to provide appropriate healthcare facilities for older people and just 16% feel the community is very prepared to provide home caregiving.
  • Only 16% feel the San Diego area is very prepared with transportation options for older people and just 15% see San Diego as very prepared to provide housing for this population.
  • 56% of San Diego-area respondents feel U.S. politicians portray older generations in a positive way and more than half (53%) feel the media does, too.
  •  A huge majority (94%) agree that technology allows you to stay connected with the people in your life but that it’s a lot of work to keep up with (74%).

What does that mean for our city’s agencies and for Senior Community Centers? The survey shows we have some work to do educating San Diegans about the many fine resources that are available in our community for seniors. But it should also be taken as a wake-up call that we must be diligent about building a strong infrastructure to support the growing demands of an aging population. It is also a lesson for each of us, no matter our age, that we have both the opportunity and responsibility to do things that will keep us healthy, independent and able to fully enjoy our lives.

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The full press release can be found here: Wall Street Journal. Stay tuned to this Get Old Campaign and join the conversation at www.getold.com.


Impending Storm Calls for Bipartisan Leadership

January 24, 2013

Welcome to the new year as we continue our quest to put Seniors First. In recent months, we have all been so wrapped up in the struggling economy and now the slippery slope of the fiscal cliff that we have failed to pay attention to another looming storm on the horizon – the silver tsunami.

1399SDSeniorCenter

Baby boomers (people born between the years 1946 and 1964) began turning 65 in 2011. In fact, 10,000 people turn 65 every day now. In 2000, there were 35 million senior citizens in this country. By 2030, there will be 72 million, which will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population. Without services and support in place, the long-term implications of the aging baby-boom population are daunting. […]

A bill was introduced a few months ago to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Unfortunately, his bill – while excellent – received little attention and even less support from his colleagues in the U.S. Senate. In the House of Representatives, not one hearing has been held or piece of legislation been introduced. […]

There is no time like the present to get something done. With the ever-increasing senior population, the OAA is needed now more than ever. Nine million seniors currently rely on the OAA-funded programs for vital, life-sustaining needs. The program also saves taxpayer dollars by reducing health care expenditures, the number of nursing home placements and other expensive long-term care facilities. In fact, the programs require a relatively modest level of assistance (about 0.02 percent of federal discretionary spending), but often make the difference between healthy independent living and costly assisted living, nursing home placements or expensive hospital stays. […]

Call, write, email, tweet and Facebook our congressional delegation and U.S. senators and tell them to end the partisan games and get to work. There are thousands of acres of common ground when it comes to the OAA and helping vulnerable seniors. Let’s show our support for the older adults in our lives, be it grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts or uncles, and make our voices heard.

~The above material first appeared in the U-T San Diego on January 10, 2013 and the full article can be found here




Photo Friday: Money Matters with George Chamberlain

February 3, 2012

Filming my segment for Money Matters with George Chamberlin airing 6:30pm on Saturday.


My interview with NBC’s Califonia Non-Stop: Tips for seniors to protect themselves from financial abuse

September 27, 2011

Yesterday, I appeared on NBC San Diego’s local news program on the California Non-Stop Channel to discuss tips for seniors and their loved ones on how to prevent being a victim of financial abuse.

Seniors are living longer and more often in their own homes independently. This can make seniors vulnerable to scammers. According to MetLife, older Americans are losing $2.9 billion each year to financial abuse. This is a 12 percent increase from the $2.6 billion estimated in 2008.

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of income level, living situation, race, ethnicity, religion or social status.

Here are some great tips we spoke to, provided by Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood from the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. Greenwood is the head of Elder Abuse Prosecution. He encourages anyone who suspects elder abuse to contact the Adult Protective Services hotline at (800) 510-2020.

Tips courtesy of San Diego District Attorney’s Office:

Choose a caregiver with caution

Do not assume that by hiring a caregiver through a bonded agency you are guaranteed to get someone who has been checked. There is no current law requiring mandatory background checks for in-home caregivers in California. Read the rest of this entry »


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