Les Cohen’s Outside the Wall Column

by Les H. Cohen, Mutual 15
Legislative Advocate Emeritus/ OC Ombudsman

The California Senate has launched a five-member select committee on aging and long-term care.
Chaired by Senator Carol Liu (D-La Canada) the other members of the committee are senators Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina); Richard Roth (D-Riverside); Lois Wolk (D-Solano); and Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte).
According to Sen. Liu, California has the largest population of residents over age 65 in the U.S. That segment is projected to double from 4.3 million in 2010 to 8.4 million in 2030. While care and assistance agencies have grown in California, there has been little effort to coordinate services across the state.
The Committee will define what aging looks like in the 21st century and bring stakeholders together to find solutions that meet senior’s needs for care options and independence.
The new committee will address dementia, elder justice, housing, mental health and transportation. Sen. Liu’s goals for the committee include, but are not limited to streamlining California’s long-term care systems, educating the public about issues related to the state’s aging services, and creating programs to address California’s diverse aging population.
A joint hearing of the new committee, along with the Assembly’s Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, will be held Aug. 12 in the state capitol.
August deadlines for the legislature:
• Aug. 15: Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills to the floor
• Aug.18: Floor session only, senate and assembly
• Aug. 22: Last day to amend bills on the floor
• Aug. 31: Last day for each house to pass bills. Final recess begins upon adjournment
• Nov. 30: Official adjournment sine di at midnight
• Dec. 1: Convening of 2015-16 new regular session (organization only)
• Jan. 5, 2015: Legislature reconvenes for regular business

Credits and Kudos column

Credits & Kudos must include the writer’s name and mutual, and will be edited for brevity. Mention of a business or service is not an endorsement or recommendation by the LW News or Golden Rain Foundation.

Lisa A. Dickson of Mutual 1 is grateful to Laura Salinas, a maintenance employee, who found her coin purse at the library and returned it.
Mutual 1 resident Joann Mullens, who lost her credit card payment near the Post Office, is grateful to whomever found it and mailed it.
Kudos to the LW Pharmacy from Syd Pomi of Mutual 17, who appreciates containers with easy-opening caps, the ability to cut pills, and 90-day supplies. “They know our doctors and they know us, so why go anywhere else?” she asked.

Focus on GAF

by Joyce Vlacic and Anna Derby
LW contributors

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Sound familiar? The commercial is easy to recall.
Years ago when it was new to television viewers, we remember thinking that we’d never need something like that. But time has a way of changing one’s perspective.
Fast forward to today’s AARP membership, filing for Medicare, and juggling ever-increasing medical appointments. Then factor in first hand emergencies of relatives and friends with mobility limitations, serious health issues or living alone. The urgency of that call for help is brought much closer to home.
This is no news for Cherrie Green, the coordinator of the Lifeline program sponsored by the Golden Age Foundation for Leisure World residents.
Ten years serving in that capacity has given Cherrie a wealth of knowledge about the value of the service. She relates numerous stories of emergency situations, such as, the bedridden gentleman, whose caregiver took a few minutes to go to the laundry room.
As smoke billowed through his apartment, he pushed the Lifeline button. Within minutes, paramedics were by his side; much to the surprise and relief of his caregiver. A tragedy was avoided.
Over 450 Leisure World residents subscribe to Lifeline each year, enabling them to maintain their independence as long as possible.
The congenial volunteers who visit subscribers set up the lifeline equipment and provide directions. They are appreciated.
Today, the Golden Age Foundation is seeking new volunteers to staff the Lifeline program.
Cherrie wants physically active individuals willing to devote about one morning a week to deliver Lifeline materials and equipment to residents.
Some walking is required when locating the resident’s unit. During the two hour orientation program, Cherrie carefully trains all new volunteers, demonstrates the equipment, and reviews basic procedures.
Volunteers are shown, step-by step, how to connect the Lifeline unit. In addition to assigning a partner for each volunteer, Cherrie personally accompanies new volunteer teams on their first installation visit. She continues to do so until the team feels confident to work independently.
This program is ideal for those who enjoy working with others, are eager to assist their neighbor in time of need, and want to improve the community with their service.
For more information or to volunteer, call Cherrie Green at 430-4682 or Joyce Reed, co-chair at 596-8656.