Care Pathways wish’s all our families and clients a very blessed and Happy New year. I know many are dealing with multiple medical issues as well as caregiver stress. Please reach out for help in the New Year. Care Pathways is here to help and here to listen with solutions in Orange County for you or a loved one.
I came to stand
and be available.
to that which is possible…
To pour forth love and blessings,
at the end of our day, we are bigger for it.
We are not failing, we are falling into what God intended us to do.
Go to a memory of a time in life, a time of purpose, a time of love.
This is what you are here for. Live, breath, share your lives purpose. To stretch, to know that life is working for all good.
There is a reason. Give Thanks. MK
Guest Blogger: by: Kerry Whelan BA, AD
Park Vista Care Center Fullerton CA
A Meaningful Life full of Activities
To create a meaningful life I decided to look at a few areas that I think are important for activities for our elderly population. I have been an activity professional for over twenty four years in many different levels of care. I now work in a CCRC where I get to work with seniors in all three levels of care: Residential Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing, and every day is a new challenge as we explore possibilities in this dynamic field.
To begin, I have found that mentoring is essential to promote dynamic activity professionals in this field. We need strong Activity professionals in order to work with this diverse population of seniors. Nowadays your title might be Life Enrichment Director, Wellness Coordinator or Activity Director. I was so lucky to be mentored by exceptional people throughout my career. One of my first Administrators said ” Activities sets the tone for the building.” It is true, as an activity professional you have to be empathetic, organized and creative.
“You also have to be very flexible and learn to go with the flow of life.”
Mentoring or giving back to the community is also an essential part of a meaningful life for seniors. All levels of care from independent to dementia care, seniors can give back to the community. Many new programs have been established for seniors and children or young adults, whereby the senior is able to mentor young adults. In our weekly crafts program we often make cards for sick children at local hospitals. In our retirement area, our seniors knit lap robes and blankets for our residents who are in the health center and memory care. We are also involved in a program that the whole campus is invited to provide holiday gifts for the Crittendon center in Fullerton, and the seniors wrap the presents. We are also blessed to work with outside pet therapy programs and church groups who volunteer with our seniors.
“It’s a full circle and many of our residents volunteered throughout their lives and continue to do so.”
Secondly we need to examine what is an activity and what gives it meaning. The standard of practice now is that anything can be an activity. Activities can be sitting in a group and listening to an entertainer and socializing at happy hour. While many people enjoy and prefer to be with people, it’s not the only action in town any longer. If a resident is a “loner”, that’s okay, we work with them to find a meaningful activity that is important to them. We don’t ask our seniors conform to our expectations, we try to empower them to pursue activities of interest. A resident and a housekeeping staff person spend a bit of time daily discussing recipes. The housekeeper goes home and makes the residents’ special family recipe for banana bread. In my book that is a successful activity. A group of men sit everyday together in the dining room and shoot the breeze about sports, current events, politics and what’s happening in the facility…that’s an activity.
Last we have to recognize that Activities are multi level nowadays. Many of our new residents are computer savvy and want to learn more. They Facebook, instragram, Face time, email and some even Twitter.
“They want to be active participants in life, they don’t want to sit back and watch.”
The population is changing and the Activity programming must change with it. Technology is advancing at a faster rate that we can even imagine. People are living longer and longer and they want to be healthy as they do it. Wellness is a critical component, mind, body and soul is so important.
. It is essential to empower our elderly population to encourage them to make daily decisions regarding care and lifestyle and planning for the future.
Care Pathways wish’s to thank this week’s guest Blog Poster Kerry Whelan BA, AD
Orange County seniors are faced with the high cost of living that has steadily been climbing. Many seniors are faced with impossible situations on maintaining or finding housing that is not only affordable but obtainable. The counties HUD ran program Section 8 has a very long waiting list and usually about five years from the time you get on the list till housing vouchers are available for a senior. The process is not being addressed in this election year on any level from either side. How will Orange County continue to deal with low income seniors and finding housing?
We have placed our most vulnerable population at risk and many already are living on the streets, in homes that rent just a room with substandard living conditions. These homes are not regulated like Long Term Care Board and Care Homes by the department of social services. There is no watch dog to make sure of the conditions, treatment, or licenses required to rent a room in a private home, no over-site is provided. It can be a scary and dangerous situation for an elderly person to face. More affordable housing must be built to keep up with demand that is needed. Over-site of homes just renting out a room must require a licensees to do so with checks and balances. Our state ran Medi-cal program needs to cover the cost of Board and Care and Assisted Living facilities as they do skilled nursing. Changes must be made. If you do not think this could happen to you or close family member, I can assure yo it can. People from all walks of life, people who have worked their entire lives increasingly are requiring more help in just paying for food and medications. This is not a senior problem, this is a problem that effects us at the very core of our humanity. Changes must be made and to do so we need more people who will rally round this and use your voice to bring about change.
For more information and how you can help, contact
Area on Aging http://officeonaging.ocgov.com/
When you need someone to speak for you
When families do not live close to their loved one, or there is no family, we can step in and be there for the older person to make certain their care needs are met wherever they are; at home, in a retirement home or in a nursing home. We can also make regular visits, monitoring the person’s wants and needs. We keep the family updated on the condition of their loved one through telephone and written communication.
As a senior, where can you go for advice?
The seniors’ care system is riddled with contradictions, confusion and misinformation. Add to that, other people may be telling you they have a say in what you decide because we work directly with you and your family to help you determine what is the best solution to your unique situation. We look at all aspects of your care needs, as well as your wish’s in helping you decide what is best for you or a loved one alongside your physician. You’ve always prepared and planned your path. Retirement and the future of your loved ones deserve the same attention to planning. Our consultants will work with you to determine your future goals and help you with just what you and your loved ones desire and what is available in the Orange County area. For more information contact us at (714) 743-6309 we are available 24/7 to answer your care questions.
Happy New Year, new day, and new programs that only Care Pathways will be offering to Orange County this year.
Our senior population and the needs are great and with that said we continue to provide the services and dedication based upon compassion, care and an commitment to serve. It will be 17 years soon that we began Care Pathways. Born out of a need for better care and a vision to provide that care and time to seniors and families in need and I am happy to say we have fulfilled our Mission. May God bless each and every person in need to find the answers they need in the coming year.
Mary Kay Evans
Director Social Services
We are only five days away from Christmas 2015, can you believe how fast time has gone by? So many memories fill my mind as I set and write this post on how very thankful I am for all the people who have touched our lives this year. There are not words to say how special each one of you are that have been added to our family of care your own unique talents to help us all reach out to those in need.
It has has always been my though that by helping others, we truly help ourselves in some ways. The stories of hardship and quality of life for seniors has been my lives work and by helping others I too have gained insight and wisdom into how to stand up and be counted by being present and using my voice to advocate for the frail elderly. At no other time of the year do we feel and see this so acutely with seniors who are struggling to find good quality of care and compassion with their situation. I see many who are on the verge of being homeless or already are and we search for ways to find answers and solutions. It is heart breaking when we find that resources are not there to fund the care seniors need. In this great country we live in how can we leave seniors living on the streets?
In a time when life should be made eased for some seniors, it is made harder by having no home. Our communities do help, however far to little attention is paid to the real problems of affordable care for persons living on a fixed income. With the prices of food, shelter and medication it has made it impossible to pay for the care. And so I ask you, our local communities to reach out and help with solutions to this problem. Care Pathways will continue to support the growing needs of seniors and families but it takes a whole community to get the work done.
Thank you to our partners and the many social workers and case managers and physicians who have made a difference this year. Without your support many more seniors would be homeless.
To the facilities that support our seniors we wish you a blessed Christmas and thank each one of you for working to care for the frail and elderly. Lets make a commitment for 2016 to not only continue but to do more in whatever way you can. All count, make no mistake what we give we receive back.
So as we close out this year it is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank each of you for doing your part to make a difference in others lives.
God Bless each and everyone and Merry Christmas
Community Programs Orange County
Cal Fresh Program (Food Stamps)
The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores.
The CalFresh Program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. To find out how to apply for benefits in your county, please call the toll free number 1-877-847-3663
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
Phone: 714-825-3000, Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
Orange Social Services Agency In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). IHSS includes a wide range of services to meet individual needs and assist eligible persons with disabilities live safely at home. IHSS recipients must meet the program’s eligibility requirements to qualify for IHSS. Call for more information.
If you are 65-years old or older, and/or a person with a disability, you may qualify for free or low-cost health care coverage through the Medi-Cal Program. Examples of services that might be covered through Medi-Cal include: comprehensive preventative care services; primary and/or specialty care medical office visits; vision and dental care; mental health services; hospitalization: and, prescription medications. Apply during business hours Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm at 1-800-281-9799
Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting
The abuse of elders and dependent adults occurs at all income levels and in every city in Orange County. An elder is a person of age 65 or older. A dependent adult is a person between the ages of 18 and 64 with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. The full scope of elder and dependent abuse is limited due to the problem’s hidden and complex nature. Over 225,000 Californians become victims each year, but experts believe the problem to be much larger. Victims often remain silent because they fear retaliation from their abusers. Many times victims remain unnoticed and untreated because they are isolated.
Whether you are a victim or suspect the abuse of someone you know, you are not alone when seeking help!
Call Orange County Adult Protective Services 800-451-5155 (24-hour hotline)
Community Transitions Program
CCT program provides people with disabilities—of all ages and from all walks of life—with the knowledge and resources to help them move from institutionalized care and back into the community.
You or a loved one may qualify if you…
• Are receiving Medi-Cal
• Live in a Medi-Cal paid inpatient facility for at least 90 days before you
move back home
• Want to return to community living
How To Access Services: Just call (714) 621-3300
If we do not take care of elderly who will? We must step up and step out in our cities, towns and neighborhoods and do what is necessary to see to it that the frail elderly have a home. Did you know we log many calls weekly from seniors who are facing being homeless, or already are? Do you know what it feels like to call shelter after shelter to find there are no beds available to house them? That rent in #Orangecounty is beyond what they can pay on a fixed income? That our system is broken and no seems to be ina hurry to fix it. Social Workers and case mangers know we see it daily in our work. We look for creative solutions to get a bed for a senior somewhere and sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. Turning people away has never and will never be something I can do but I am limited on what our system allows us to do. Our system is broken badly and we all must do what we cab to fix it. What if it was your Mother or Father?
It seems just like yesterday we were in the New Year and here we are at the half way mark into July. Time has a way of flying, or so it seems. Some think as we get older time speeds up. Time is in fact the same we just have more in our memory banks than say at twenty. Which brings me to my post this month. No matter what age you are, live your life to the fullest.
Yes I know we all age, (me as well), but we have to adapt or we stand still stuck in time. There are things we may no longer be able to do and this is the time to learn something new. Change is not easy. I know we all at one time or another must give up somethings and sometimes a lot of things in life. We may have suffered an illness, a death of a loved one, the loss is great and so is pain. But the time must come when you pick yourself up after the long dark night and go forward. Going forward in whatever way you can. It might just be having lunch with a friend, going to a movie with a friend, or even just taking a walk around your neighborhood. The thought is to continue to move forward. You still matter in this world no matter your age.