Ken DuFour opened. Ed Romeo read the Prayer of St. Francis and George Lesley led the pledge.
George and Gina Lesley conducted a Halloween quiz. We learned the skeleton went to the barbeque to enjoy spare ribs, skeletons that don’t work are called lazy bones, and a group of them sailing a boat is a skeleton crew.
Mike Gertner reported week 8’s football pool results. Shirley Lashmett and Dr. Bob Wood tied for low person with Shirley picking furthest from the tie breaker number and securing the spot. Roy Schlemon and Fran Murphy finished first and second, respectively. Shirley distributed $100 each to Andrew Shortt and Diane Daruty from the reverse raffle. She also shared the miserable news that Marj Collins has terminal cancer.
Dr. Bob announced Steve Babyak, a former club speaker, purchased 10 football books from the District and finally won this week.
Diane introduced Todd Hanson with Council of Aging. Todd earned a marketing degree from Cal State Fullerton. He began his career with Camp Fire Boys and Girls where he introduced programs serving children and families. He thereafter spent 20 years with the Center for Engaged Philanthropy at Orange County (OC) Community Foundation where he grew grants from $10 million to $100,000 million. He was also instrumental in implementing the Veterans Services Initiative providing $4 million plus to teach more than 25,000 veterans and families. He facilitated an initiative with Disneyland, the Anaheim Ducks, Angels Baseball, and 18 other foundations resulting in $6.8 million in awards impacting tens of thousands of people. In January, 2022, Todd joined Council of Aging as Chief Operating Officer.
We’re all familiar with the struggles of children and families. However, we rarely hear about challenges facing the elderly, that are increasing significantly in OC where seniors are the fastest growing population. While many seniors are thriving, 44% are economically insecure with 21% not owning their homes. Todd is inspired by his work with Council of Aging helping seniors to remain healthy, connected, and protected. Headquartered in Anaheim, the foundation serves 100,000 seniors annually in OC and the Inland Empire. It is funded by individuals, government grants, corporations, and foundations.
Todd discussed his foundation’s programs.
One free service helps seniors prepare an aging plan including an advance health care directive, health insurance strategy, a will or trust to distribute assets at death, and more.The Advocacy and Protection program provides seniors health insurance advice at no cost. This one-on-one counseling explains insurance benefits and enrollment, compares and evaluates Medicare and private insurance, helps maximize benefits and minimize costs, and provides advocacy when problems occur. In the last year, Todd estimates participant savings of $1,000,000. The OC phone number for this service is 714-560-0424.
Council of Aging’s registered nurse and gerontologist team operates Concierge Care Navigators. This service, provided for a modest fee, is typically sought when a health emergency arises for a senior and the family is struggling to help their loved one manage doctor visits, medications, etc. The team develops a detailed, personalized care plan giving the family peace of mind.
OC has 1,100 senior care facilities with 28,000 residents, half without family looking out for them. Council for Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights, quality of care, and dignity of these residents. The program regularly makes unannounced visits to the facilities. It also confidentially solicits physical and financial abuse and quality of care complaints from residents and works to resolve them. The 24-hour state crisis line is 800-231-4024 and the OC number is 800-300-6222.
In OC, 75,000 seniors live alone. Many, particularly those without family, are isolated without mobility or transportation options. The Friendly Visitor Program trains volunteers to provide weekly interactions with frail and disabled adults. The volunteers also identify unmet needs, and Council of Aging assists in meeting these needs. Currently there are 130 volunteers with 103 seniors on the waiting list.
Council of Aging’s no cost Reconnect Program integrates age 60 and older with limited or inadequate social support or who are disabled into the community. Over a one-year period, social workers evaluate participants. Services provided include comprehensive screenings, in home case management, psychiatric assessments, referrals to resources, support groups, educational and social activities, and more. The program is available to everyone and is offered in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
Finally, the Senior Protection Program conducts educational seminars to help the elderly recognize and guard against financial fraud. Everyone appreciates receiving a gift. Council for Aging’s Smile Makers Program seeks a gift wish from senior care facility residents, and businesses donate the requested items. Wrapped gifts are delivered to seniors during the holidays.
Mitch Mitchell asked Todd his opinion on Medicare versus Blue Cross. Todd has never evaluated this and suggested Mitch reach out to the Advocacy and Protection Program.
Ed Romeo asked how Council for Aging contacts senior centers and Todd replied his staff regularly visits all of the centers.
Cathy Stolrow, Michael Call’s guest, asked whether Council of Aging provides assistance for seniors contemplating suicide. Todd said not specifically, but directed her to the Reconnect or Friendly Visitor Programs.
Todd picked the raffle winners. Ken and Cathy each won $25.
Nov 3 - Tara Dempster—CASA Orange County
Nov 10 - Patricia Wenskunas – Crime Survivors
Nov 17 - Business meeting
Nov 24. - Thanksgiving
This week we will be at the Newport Beach Yacht Club. Lunch will be served at 12:20 pm. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by this Wed 2 PM if you are planning on attending.