Never Too Late - March 2022

Never Too Late Para información en Español ver páginas 23 - 25

March 2022 What’s News • Aging in Our Community • Dementia Capable SoAZ • Medicare Presentation & SMP Info • Rights & Benefits: ALTCS Workshop • Caregiving • Healthy Living • PCOA Puzzle • Advocacy • Neighbors Care Alliance • Visibility Matters • CareGiver Training Institute

National Nutrition Month

• PimaCare at Home • HomeMatch Pima


Independence. Vitality. Respect.

Inside • Aging in Our Community 3 • Dementia Capable SoAZ 4 • Medicare Presentations & SMP 5-6 • Rights & Benefits 7 - 10 • Caregiving 11 - 13 • Healthy Living 17 - 19 • PCOA Puzzle 21 - 22 • Nunca Es Demasiado Tarde 23 - 25 • Ending Life Well 26

• Advocacy 27 • Senior Companion Program 28 • Neighbors Care Alliance 29 - 30 • Visibility Matters 32 • HomeMatch Pima 33 • Featured Artist 34 • CareGiver Training Institute, Healthcare Education by PCOA 35 • Introducing & PimaCare at Home, In-Home Care by PCOA 36

PCOA Helpline: (520) 790-7262 Administration: (520) 790-0504 Donate: E-mail: Website: Mail: 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85710 Never Too Late is published by Pima Council on Aging, the Area Agency on Aging, Region II. Material from Never Too Late may be reprinted when permission is given and attribution is used along with ©PCOA 2022. Editor Adina Wingate, (520) 790-0504 Editorial Assistant Jan Baker, (520) 790-0504 Advertising Adina Wingate, (520) 790-0504 Design Consultant Lori Lieber, Lori Lieber Graphic Design Please include a contact person name and phone number with all submitted material. All articles are subject to editing in accordance with technical and policy guidelines but will not be altered in content without permission of the author. Publication of submissions is not guaranteed. Ads are not to be considered as PCOA endorsements of products, services, or individuals. Editorial and Advertising Deadline for Next Issue MARCH 4 2022

On the Cover: Detail from Birdhouses, Aquatint by Deborah Steinberg The Drawing Studio. (Story, full image on inside back cover) Help from PCOA During the Pandemic Due to the prevalence of the coronavirus in our community, we encourage the public to access our services by phone or email whenever possible. Our building at 8467 E Broadway is open for those requiring in-person assistance. We encourage you to call and make an appointment to ensure the right staff are available to assist you. Our building at 600 S Country Club is not currently open to the public. Please call or visit our website frequently for updates, as availability is subject to change as the public health crisis evolves. The best way to access our services, including making an appointment for in-person assistance, is by calling our Helpline between 8:30 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday at (520) 790-7262 or emailing




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Page 2 | March 2022, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

Aging in Our Community A Message from W. Mark Clark, President and CEO

Nutrition Programs More Important than Ever Two years ago this month, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way PCOA does business and provides services, and our nutrition services were among the first and most critical shifts. One of the first widespread mitigation efforts to keep older adults safe was the closure of Parks and Recreation sit e s and senior centers, which meant the suspension of Community Lunch Programs in Pima County and City of Tucson facilities, as well as Posada Life Community Services in Green Valley. Within a matter of three days of notification of these closures, we worked with the City of Tucson and our community partners Catholic Community Services and the Caridad Kitchen at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to shift to grab and go meals picked up curbside at select sites. Shortly thereafter, we made the same arrangements with Pima County. These efforts ensured that older adults relying on Community Lunch Programs to meet their nutritional needs would continue to have access to sufficient quality food. We also worked quickly with Catholic Community Services, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest and Caridad to deliver two weeks’ worth of additional frozen meals to Pima Meals on Wheels recipients to ensure that they had proper nutrition if they had to quarantine or if we could not get to them, and increased our weekly meal delivery from 5 meals to 7. Through the grab and go program and

to achieve food security. Though millions of older adults are enrolled in SNAP, less than half of Americans over 60 who are eligible for SNAP are receiving benefits. If you are an older adult in need of nutrition assistance, or you know someone in need, you can call the Arizona State Hotline at (855) 432-7587 or contact PCOA for assistance in understanding how to access SNAP benefits. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona also offers Senior Food Boxes for those who qualify. Call (520) 622-0525. The good news is that temporary increases in SNAP benefits during the COVID crisis have been helpful in mitigating a spike in older adult hunger – but the effects of the pandemic on hunger, especially for older women and people of color, are likely to be felt for years to come. PCOA remains dedicated to working alongside community partners to provide meals, advocating for increased funding for nutrition services, helping older adults access benefits to increase their financial and food security. Together, we can help older adults in our community maintain good nutrition and enjoy health and quality of life.

Pima Meals on Wheels, PCOA and our partners served more than 519,000 meals to older adults in our community last year. This month, we also celebrate 50 years of the national Senior Nutrition Program supporting nutrition services for older adults across the country through funding from the Older Americans Act. Though older adult hunger has improved over the decades, each year in the US, up to half of adults aged 65 and older are at risk of malnutrition, and more than 10 million face hunger. Before the pandemic, about 12% of Arizonans over age 60 faced food insecurity, far higher than the national average of 9.5%. Experts agree that number has since risen as many older adults lack access to the high-quality, nutritious food they need to remain healthy and independent. Without proper nutrition, older adults are more likely to develop costly and chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart failure, heart disease, and asthma. They are more likely to suffer from mental and emotional health problems – according to Feeding America, older adults who are food insecure are 262% more likely to be depressed. And with COVID still a real concern in our community, hunger puts vulnerable older adults at an even greater risk of COVID-related health decline. PCOA’s Pima Meals on Wheels and Community Lunch Programs work in tandem with programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest domestic hunger safety net program helping low-income older adults

W. Mark Clark President & CEO

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Pima Council on Aging

Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na

While we know that nutrition is a key component to brain health, mealtime can be challenging for people living with dementia and their caregivers. As dementia progresses, a person may find it challenging to do everyday tasks without the support of another person. Some of these tasks are directly tied to their ability to maintain adequate nutrition such as forgetting how to make a meal, using a specific utensil, or even neglecting to eat. If you are caring for someone that has dementia, there are a number of things that can be done to create a positive experience.

Introducing Posada Life Memory Café!

A welcoming place for those experiencing memory loss and their care givers. Be part of our community, we invite you to come socialize with others in a safe, supportive, and fun environment. March will be all things music – live music, games, and musical trivia! Date/time: Saturday March 19, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm Location: Posada Life Community Center For the safety of all, attendees will be required to wear masks and observe physical distancing. RSVPs are encouraged, please contact Ellen March at 520.393.6840 or 780 S. Park Centre Ave. Green Valley, AZ 85614

• Distractions can present a challenge – minimize unnecessary interruptions, limit talking, use adaptive dinnerware that can be easily focused and limit the number of items on the table • Patience is key – allow plenty of time to eat, be flexible with food choices as they may change and don’t focus on neatness, offer multiple small meals as opposed to a few large ones, use gentle verbal cues • Spend time together – use affirmative and reassuring language, eat together and model positive behavior and nutrition choices • Simplify things – offer one food at a time, try small finger foods if using utensils is a challenge • Safety is key – check the temperature of the food as sensitivity to temperatures may increase, if chewing or swallowing is challenging, prepare meals that are easy to chew and swallow, use plastic or non-glass dinnerware if dexterity has been compromised • Balance is important – as cognitive decline progresses it can be challenging to get correct nutrition, provide a balanced diet with a variety of foods your loved one enjoys. In addition to the tips above, adaptive dinnerware can be helpful, and a number of adaptive items are in use and on

display in the PCOA Raskob-Paulus Caregiver Skills Lab. Please contact an Options Counselor if you are interested in learning more about this.

Memory concerns? Call the PCOA Helpline at 520.790.7262 or visit our website to complete a referral form online Change, especially as it relates to cognitive decline, is difficult and it can be a challenge not to expect a person to behave or respond in a way they may have previously. Mealtime can highlight some of these changes, especially from the caregiver's viewpoint. It is important that mealtimes remain a positive experience, especially as cognitive decline increases and maintaining nutrition can present more of a challenge. This can be an opportunity to create new mealtime traditions and practices as a family, ensuring everyone's needs are met.

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Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Presentations - registration required Medicare Corner

All participants in these in-person events will be required to wear masks and adhere to PCOA distancing and safety guidelines, regardless of vaccination status. To assure your safety and that of others, depending on the situation with COVID-19 in our community, this event may be canceled or changed from an in-person event to a virtual event. Once registered, you will be notified regarding any such changes, should they occur, and provided with information about how to join the virtual event and additional options. New to Medicare or have questions about extra help? Join us for our Medicare seminar followed by a Q & A session Thursday, March 10 10am – 1pm 600 S Country Club Thursday, March 24 10am – 1pm 8467 E Broadway Blvd

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0049, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy 02/05/21 Don’t go hungry if you cannot afford your medication or premiums and are on Medicare

By Tina Marie Higdon, PCOA Medicare Coordinator (SHIP/SMP/ MIPPA) A gallop poll reported in 2019 “An estimated 7.5 million seniors are unable to pay for medicine prescribed to them because they don't have enough money. And to make the matter worse, seniors reported that 80% of the prescriptions they cannot afford are for a somewhat or very serious health condition.” For some this continues to be an issue. Many Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for extra help through programs such as Medicare extra help programs, of those that qualify, many do not know or apply. Once approved for Medicare Savings Program - QMB, SLMB, QI-1, you are automatically approved for Full Extra Help with your Part D/Low Income Subsidy (LIS) program thru Social

Social Security reduces Part D co-pays - $3.95 generics / $9.85 brand-name 4. LIMITED INCOME SUBSIDY (LIS)- Partial Extra Help with Part D INCOME LIMITS $1,549.01 - $1,719 (Single) per month $2,080.01 - $2,309 (Married) per month 2022 RESOURCE LIMITS - include $1,500 per person burial expenses $15,510 (Single) $30,950 (Married) Is this you? Contact your SHIP office at PCOA today 520.546.2011 or to apply reference- 1. U.S. Seniors Pay Billions, yet Many Cannot Afford Healthcare. billions-yet-cannot-afford-healthcare.aspx 2. Kenngott, C. Feb 2022. Help with Medicare Costs

Security. Full LIS pays your Part D premium & deductible. Below are the guidelines. 1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) $0 - $1,153 (Single) per month $0 - $1,546 (Married) per month Pays your Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles & co-pays Full LIS thru Social Security reduces Part D co-pays - $1.35 generics / $4.00 brand-name 2. Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB) $1,153.01 - $1,379 (Single) per month $1,546.01 - $1,851 (Married) per month Pays your Part B premium only Full LIS thru Social Security reduces Part D co-pays - $3.95 generics / $9.85 brand-name 3. Qualified Individual (QI-1) $1,379.01 - $1,549 (Single) per month $1,851.01 - $2,080 (Married) per month Pays your Part B premium only Full LIS thru

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Pima Council on Aging

SMP Corner

Identifying and reporting Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse involve a wide range of behaviors that result in unnecessary costs to the Medicare program. Once you are eligible for Medicare, you may be exposed to Medicare fraud or errors, such as before you enroll in a plan or when you access care at a doctor’s office. It could also be receiving unsolicited calls from scammers who are just trying to steal your medical identity. It is important to know how to recognize potentially fraudulent activities and how to report them.

Examples of potential Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse might include:

• Someone steals your Medicare number and uses it to bill Medicare for items or services you don’t need and never receive. • Someone calls you or visits your home to offer you “free” equipment that you do not need and then bills Medicare for the equipment. • A plan agent uses your Medicare number to enroll you in a plan without your consent. To protect yourself from potential Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse: • Protect your Medicare number and only give it to your doctors and other providers. • Be careful when others ask for personal information or offer you “free” products or services in return for your Medicare number. • Check your Medicare statements regularly for any suspicious charges or errors. If you see any suspicious charges, call your provider to see if they have made a billing error. • If you suspect you are experiencing Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse, contact your Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at PCOA 520.790.7573 x2017

*Medicare Minute. 2001eaaa3255&ItemType=File February 2022.

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

4 Questions About Social Security That Can Help You Plan Your Retirement By Dawn Bystry , Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications Social Security benefits are part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the many people covered under Social Security, you should know what your future benefit may be. These monthly payments may be a vital part of your retirement income. We base your benefit payment on how much you earned during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. If there were some years you didn’t work or had low earnings, your benefit amount may be lower than if you had worked steadily. Even if you have never worked under Social Security, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years old and your spouse receives retirement or disability benefits. Our online retirement portal ( retirement/) is a great place to start mapping out your retirement plan. There, we provide important information that you should know. For example, have you considered: • When you should apply to start retirement benefits? • What documents you need to provide? • Which factors may affect your retirement benefits? • What you should remember to do after you apply for retirement benefits? You can use your personal my Social Security (https://www. account to get an instant estimate of your future retirement benefits. You can also see the effects of starting your retirement benefits at different ages. Benefits for family members may also be important to you. When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. You can learn more on our Benefits page ( https://www. ). Please share this information with family and friends to help them prepare for retirement.

ALTCS Workshop Learn about the Arizona Long Term Care System, including what it is, what it takes to be eligible for the program, and what kinds of services are available once a person becomes eligible. A great place to start when you are considering ALTCS for yourself, or for a loved one.

Join us by computer, tablet or phone. Topic: ALTCS Workshop Time: March 10, 2:30 p.m. MST. Every month on the Second Thursday. Please join ALTCS Presentation on Zoom from your computer, tablet, or phone. Join Zoom Meeting VvTWR6eG1OeFpMSmhIZ2xtZz09

Or call +1 669 900 9128 US Meeting ID: 851 3331 2275 Passcode: 114461 To register , go to:, or call Donna DeLeon at 520.790.7573 ext 1750.

Participants who would prefer an in-person training are invited to register for our April training held on Thursday 4-14-22.

March 2022, Never Too Late | Page 7

Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

What to Know about Signing Up or Signing In By Darlynda Bogle , Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

for simple, secure, and private access to participating U.S. government agencies. • is a single sign-on provider that meets the U.S. government’s online identity proofing and authentication requirements. A credential includes your username, password, and two-step verification factors. A trusted credential partner helps us securely verify your identity online. Here is a brief list of some things you need to know when creating or accessing your personal my Social Security account. I have never accessed my Social Security , and I do not have a or credential: Visit the my Social Security webpage ( to get started. You will have the option to create an account with your preferred credential partner, or Keep in mind: • You must be 18 years of age or older and have a Social Security number. • You will be redirected to the partner’s website when you select “Sign in with” or “Sign in with” • You must provide a valid email address and some additional information. • Once you create the credential, you’ll return to the my Social Security webpage for next steps.

We want to help you get the services you need as quickly and safely as possible. Your personal my Social Security (https:// account is your gateway to doing business with us online. Whether you receive benefits now or in the future, you will want to create your personal my Social Security account or use the one you may already have. More than 64 million people already have an account! Did you know you can use your personal my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card (in most states), check the status of an application, verify your earnings, estimate future benefits, or manage the benefits you already receive? Watch our brief video ( watch?v=2hjJqUAFSXI ) about the benefits of having an account. We are committed to protecting your information and benefits and take this responsibility seriously. That’s why we ask for personal information to verify your identity in order to create a personal my Social Security account. We work with external partners to securely verify your identity. We do this to protect your data while making our online services easy for you to use. Ready to sign up? You can now create your new my Social Security account through either of these two credential partners: or • is the public’s one account

I have never accessed my Social Security , but I already have a or credential:

You can sign in with your credential on the my Social Security webpage and follow the prompts. I have accessed my Social Security with a Social Security username and password that I created before September 18, 2021: You should still sign in using your Social Security username and password. This is the first option on the Sign In screen ( I have accessed my Social Security using my existing or credential: You can sign in to my Social Security using that or credential. Please encourage your friends and family to create their personal my Social Security account today!

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

Tax breaks for older adults

There are three types of tax programs for which you may be eligible:

• Applications made after October 1st , 2022, may only be eligible for a reduction to the second half of 2022 property taxes. • Additional restrictions may apply, contact the Pima County Assessor Valuation Relief team for more information. **These amounts are taxable income (non-taxable Social Security and Railroad Retirement are not included as taxable income) Call PCOA’s Helpline at (520)790-7262 or the Tax Assessor’s office at (520)724-8630 or in Tucson for written information and application locations. The Senior Property Valuation Freeze Option may be filed if you meet the following criteria: • At least one of the owners must be 65 years of age by September 1 of the current application year. • The property must be the primary residence of the taxpayer (primary residence is defined as “that residence which is occupied by the taxpayer for an aggregate of nine months of the calendar year”). A taxpayer can only have one primary residence. Rentals, mixed use properties, and properties over 10 acres do not qualify. • The owner must have lived and owned the home for at least two (2) years prior to applying for the option. • The household’s (owner/s and residents) total income from ALL sources, including non-taxable income, cannot exceed $40,368 for an individual property owner or $50,460 for two or more property owners. • The annual application period is from February 28 (or after receipt of annual property valuation) until September 1, 2022. Under the terms of the Senior Property Valuation Protection Option, the evaluation of the older adult’s home can be ‘frozen’ at the current year’s valuation so that the value does not increase. The Pima County Board of Supervisors may still levy additional taxes. For more details about this program, Call PCOA’s Helpline at (520)790-7262 or the County Assessor’s office at (520)724-8630 in Tucson. 3


The Arizona Property Tax Refund Credit, also known as the 140PTC, may be filed if you meet the following criteria: • Arizona resident for the entire year of 2021. • Age 65 or older by 12/31/2021 or a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). • Limited household income. Call PCOA’s Helpline at 520-790-7262 for income guidelines. • You paid property taxes and/or rent in 2021.

Call PCOA’s Helpline at 790-7262 in Tucson for 140PTC forms, or to make an appointment for assistance in completing this form. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE PIMA COUNTY ASSESSOR OR TREASURER OFFICES REGARDING THIS FORM. This program is available during normal tax season from January through April 18, 2022. PCOA will be providing telephone appointments and some in-person appointments for assistance beginning the last week in January. Qualifications for widow/widower and disability exemption applicants: • The applicant must be a widow, widower, or 100% disabled as of January 1 of the year you are filing for exemption. • The applicant must be a permanent Arizona Resident. • The applicant must be over the age of 17. • Income limitations ** o $34,901 for applicant, including spouse’s income and/or income of children over the age of 18 who reside in the home o $41,870 for applicant with dependent children under the age of 18 residing in the home o $41,870 for applicant with a disabled son or daughter over the age of 18 residing in the home (must be certified by a licensed Arizona medical authority as totally and permanently disabled) • The Assessed Value limitation is $28,459 Residential Property for each owner. • Applicants must have owned the subject property as of January 1 of the year you are filing for exemptions. • Applicants can file for current tax year only and not for any prior years. 2

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information Social Security’s Top 5 Data Privacy Resources By Dawn Bystry , Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

What is a money mule?

A money mule is someone who receives and moves money that came from victims of fraud. Some money mules know they are assisting with criminal activity, but others are unaware that their actions are helping fraudsters. If someone you don’t know sends you money and asks you to forward or transfer the money, you could be fueling fraud by serving as a money mule. Money mules may be recruited through an online job ad or social media post that promises easy money for little effort. Or money mules may agree to help a love interest they’ve met online or over the phone receive and send money — also known as a romance scam. Look for these red flags Follow these tips to avoid becoming a money mule: • Don’t agree to receive or send money or packages for people you don’t know or haven’t met in person. • Don’t take a job that promises easy money – especially if it involves sending or receiving money or packages. • Don’t open a bank account or cryptocurrency account at someone else’s direction. • Don’t send money to an online love interest, even if they send you money first. • Don’t pay to collect a prize or send someone money out of your “winnings.” What to do if you think you may be involved in a money mule scam Transferring money on behalf of others not only benefits criminals, but it could also lead to serious consequences for you – like losing money or even being put in jail. If you think you’ve been involved in a money mule scam, here’s what to do: 1. Stop communicating with anyone who asked you to move money or property . 2. Tell your financial institution and consider changing accounts. 3. Report the scam to local law enforcement and at Money mules help international crime networks steal money from businesses and people just like you. It is important to stay alert and watch out for the red flags of a money mule scam. For more information, please visit the Department of Justice’s Money Mule Initiative web page ( consumer-protection-branch/money-mule-initiative). Learn more about how to protect yourself and others from fraud and scams. ( can-i-protect-myself-and-others-i-care-about-from-fraud-and- scams-en-1935/)

Are you looking for better ways to stay safe online? As you know, Security is in our name. We are committed to protecting your personal information and take this responsibility seriously. We keep this commitment in mind when we collect information from you to carry out our mission. As we celebrated Data Privacy Week (last month), we are sharing our top five privacy resources:

1. A great first resource is opening your personal my Social Security account ( Your secure my Social Security account helps you keep track of your earnings records and identify any suspicious activity. 2. Our Privacy page ( is a central source of information on our Privacy Compliance Program. You can learn more about the Privacy Act of 1974, submit a Privacy Act request, and review our privacy policies and reports. 3. In our blog post, 10 Ways to Protect Your Personal Information ( personal-information/ ) , we cover steps you and your loved ones can take to protect your data . 4. Our factsheet, How You Can Help Us Protect Your Social Security Number and Keep Your Information Safe ( https:// ) , provides details to safeguard your private information . 5. Our Guard Your Card infographic ( ssnumber/assets/EN-05-10553.pdf) helps you and your loved ones understand when you need to show your Social Security card – and when you do not. We encourage you to review these resources and partner with us to protect your most important information. Please share these resources with your friends and family – and post them on social media.

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Pima Council on Aging


By Tracy Janiga PCOA Aging & Caregiving Specialist The Gift of Nature for Stress Reduction

Atterbury Wash : A one-mile loose dirt trail through a wash area with interpretive signs. Dog friendly. 8328 E Escalante Rd. Sweetwater Wetlands : A true oasis in the desert featuring large and small ponds, wetlands, dozens of bird species, fish, turtles, frogs, and desert wildlife. Multiple loop trails, packed dirt, unpaved but wheelchair friendly. No dogs allowed 2551 W Sweetwater Dr. Fort Lowell Park : City park with nut trees, small and large water features, grassy lawns, and historic fort. adjacent to the paved Chuck Huckleberry Loop. Dog friendly. 2900 N Craycroft Rd. Reid Park : Tucson’s version of Central Park. Features a rose garden, dog park, playgrounds, duck pond, waterfall, stream, lagoon, big trees, dozens of bird species, and turtles. Paved walking path around the park and pond providing wheelchair accessible recreation. A wonderful place to walk or relax. Dog friendly. 900 S Randolph Way Honeybee Canyon : Native plants, desert animals, a wash, canyon, ancient petroglyphs, rock formations, historic dam, and 3 miles of unpaved trails. Dog friendly. 13880 E Rancho Vistoso Blvd Feliz Paseos Park : A universally accessible trail system for people of all abilities. Two miles of trails, award winning design for mobility device users, desert setting, birds, wildlife, and interpretive signs. Dog friendly. 1600 N Camino de Oeste

respond appropriately to our changing environment. Unfortunately, chronic exposure to stress, such as the stress of caregiving, overwhelms and interrupts the system. When this happens, you can feel anxious, depressed, fatigued, overwhelmed, or like you are ‘always on’ or ‘never able to get a break’. Overtime, this can lead to long-term physical and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your body become more regulated and help you feel better. Nature can be one of the tools in your toolbox. Spending as little as 5-10 minutes in nature can help restore your body and mind, lower cortisol levels, decrease sympathetic nervous system activity, and increase parasympathetic activity. In short, feels less stressed, less on edge, and help you relax. Many neighborhoods in Tucson have parks and visiting your neighborhood park is a great way to take a quick break. If you can’t make it to a park, try stepping (or looking) outside to see what your immediate surrounding has to offer. Look at the trees swaying in the breeze, watch the birds, gaze into the bushes, and see if you can spot a critter. Focus just on what you are seeing, hearing, or smelling outside. Let your mind drift away from the stresses of the day. If you can venture a bit farther from home or want to see something new, check out one of these nature getaways in Tucson. These places are all free to explore.

Spending time in nature is a great way to lower your stress level. A continually growing body of research shows that spending time walking in or sitting in natural environments can “lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, increase parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity compared with city settings.” Source: The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan | Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine | Full Text ( Cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone, the sympathetic nervous system controls the fight or flight response, and the parasympathetic nervous system helps the body to rest or relax. Stressful situations cause cortisol levels to rise, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, and suppresses the parasympathetic nervous system. Essentially, cortisol triggers the danger alarm in your body, your sympathetic nervous system leaps into action, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and you are revved up to fight against, or flee from, danger. When the threat passes, cortisol decreases, and the parasympathetic nervous system slows your heart and blood pressure and tells the body to relax. When functioning properly, these body systems help keep us safe and able to

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Pima Council on Aging


PCOA CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS – MARCH Three are currently being held by Zoom plus seven in person.

To protect the confidentiality of the group sessions, access information will only be given to registered participants. Emails are sent out on Fridays with updated schedules and additional information. If you participated in the groups before COVID, and have not been receiving the emails, please check your junk or spam folder. Questions or to RSVP : call Sam in Caregiver Support at (520) 790-7573, Ext. 3405 Participation in the groups can be in person (7 groups), by telephone or by computer/tablet/smartphone w/ video. 3/1, Tuesday , 12–1:30pm (Oro Valley) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/3, Thursday , 1–2:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 3/7, Monday , 1–2:30pm (East) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/8, Tuesday, 5:30–7pm (Midtown) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/10, Thursday , 1–2:30pm (East) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/14, Monday , 1–2:30pm (Green Valley) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice)

Support groups are a way to connect with others who are walking the journey of caregiving like you are. You get to SEE (if you use the video option) that you are not alone. You get to hear other’s challenges and successes, learn about helpful resources, know that your story matters and that you have been heard. Support groups are facilitated by a professional and are a safe place for you to express your concerns, frustrations, etc. and learn that others feel this way too. In–person support group participants are required to wear masks and social distance.


3/15, Tuesday , 9–10:30am Virtual ON ZOOM

“To love a person is to see all of their magic, and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.” — Anonymous

3/17, Thursday, 1:30–3pm (Midtown) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/21, Monday, 1–2:30pm (Midtown) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice) 3/28, Monday , 11am–12:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 3/29, Tuesday , 9–10:30am (Southwest) Virtual ON ZOOM (until further notice)

To register for PCOA Family Caregiver Support Groups, to RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Samuel at PCOA Caregiver Support,, 520-305-3405

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Pima Council on Aging


Free training for informal, nonpaid family caregivers Caregiving Essentials: First Steps Training Schedule 2022 Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center 600 S. Country Club, 85716

Friday, March 4 Wed., April 13

Monday, May 9 Wednesday, June 8

If staying for both, bring your own lunch. Coffee and water available.

Workshop 1: Steps to Resilience (9 am – 12:30pm)

Workshop 2: Physical Care and Safety (1:00 – 3:30pm)

• Stress Management & Grief • Communication • Dementia Behaviors & Issues • Finances & Legal Resources • Lifelines for Support: Respite & Support Groups • Nutrition Support • Phone and Technology Use • Grief & End of Life Resources

• Activity Planning, Outings and Car Etiquette • Infection control and providing Personal Care

• Proper Body Mechanics • Home Environment Safety & Fall Prevention • Planning for an Emergency • Understanding Assistive Devices • Proper Walking /Transferring techniques • Re-positioning with reassessment

Register on Eventbrite: or call Pima Council on Aging, 520.790.7573 ext. 1750; For questions, call Debra Waring 520.790.7573 ext. 3407; For possible respite during training, call Arizona Caregiver Coalition 888.737.7494 or our Helpline 520-790-7262. This training does not provide certification or CEU’s for employment. *Events subject to change due to health precautions. See page 33 for details.

March 2022, Never Too Late | Page 13

Pima Council on Aging

Neighborhoods play role in older adults’ pandemic experience Information

By Morgan Sherburne , Michigan News How have older adults adjusted to living under the pandemic? There’s no one-size- fits-all experience, according to University of Michigan researchers. In spring and summer 2020, U-M researchers Jessica Finlay and Lindsay Kobayashi launched a study to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed neighborhood environments and the way older adults age in place. They found that some older adults reported less social interaction and diminished relationships with their neighbors, while others reported more. Some older adults experienced less social support from their neighbors, while others felt they experienced more support from their neighbors. Some people’s neighborhoods became totally quiet during the pandemic, while other neighborhoods bloomed with outside happy hours, children playing in front yards, and residents walking and biking in the neighborhood — so much so that some study participants complained about the noise. “There’s not one model of experience for older adults in this pandemic,” said Finlay, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Social Research. “There’s a whole diversity of reactions and experiences and perceptions going on across the country that I think reflects some of the broader disparities, polarization and inequities that exist across the entire fabric of the United States.” Their results are published in The Gerontologist.

To examine how older adults are living under the pandemic, Finlay and her fellow researchers recruited 6,886 participants to complete an online survey in April and May 2020. The participants, who were from across the country, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, then completed monthly follow-up surveys. These surveys assessed the participants’ physical and mental health, level of socialization and health behaviors such as exercise and drinking, as well as COVID-19 testing and symptoms. The survey also included open-ended questions to gather responses about participants’ ongoing experiences, perspectives and significant life events. From this group of respondents, the researchers drew a random sample of 1,000 open-ended responses. They used quotas for age, gender, race, ethnicity and education aiming to match the U.S. population of those over the age of 55. Most of the participants lived in neighborhoods; about 20 percent of the respondents said they did not. More than 25 percent of the study participants reported reduced quality and quantity of interactions with their neighbors — especially impromptu run-ins on front steps, porches or yards — and a stop to gatherings such as indoor happy hours, book clubs and athletic activities. They thought that COVID exacerbated isolation, particularly among those without access to outdoor gathering spaces. Ideological and cultural differences prompted feelings of isolation, and those who lived in neighborhoods with high rates of COVID-19 cases or public health misinformation more often shared feeling isolated. But 12 percent of participants

reported more neighborly interactions and socializations. “I now know the names of my neighbors and we talk across the street from each other. On my morning walk, I normally see 15-25 other walkers and we keep our distance,wave and say hi,” oneparticipant said. Some participants reported less psychosocial support. “One of my neighbors is in ‘comfort care’ hospice and I feel extremely bad that I can’t go sit with her, bring them meals, etc., due to COVID concerns,” another participant said. Other participants who moved during the pandemic reported feeling isolated because they weren’t able to get to know their new neighbors. Some participants reported witnessing how COVID and varying adherence to public health measures — for example, mask- wearing and social distancing — seemed to underscore the country’s political divisions. Some of the study participants worried that local restaurants and shops where they previously gathered for a cup of coffee and social interaction — locations Finlay calls “third places” outside of home and work — were going out of business. And still other people’s experiences were affected by neighborhood conditions. “It is important to identify and address the pandemic’s long-term implications for aging in place, such as how older adults can safely inhabit public neighborhood spaces, adjust to being in crowded areas without feeling anxious, and return to the ‘new normal’ of daily life,” she said.

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Pima Council on Aging


Come Volunteer for PCOA! Take YOUR Shot!

In January we launched a new phase of our Take YOUR Shot campaign. The Take YOUR Shot campaign encourages our community members to get their COVID-19 vaccine, boosters, and flu shot. This new iteration of the campaign is multifaceted. In fact, you may have seen our advertisements on TV, social media, or in the newspaper, or you may have heard them on the radio. These past two months we’ve also been sending canvassers to neighborhoods to speak directly with Pima County residents about why it’s important to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and to help unvaccinated people find a vaccination location near them. This community outreach is essential to increasing the access people have and the accurate information they receive about vaccines, and it cannot be accomplished without community members like you! In February, one of our canvassers talked to someone at their door who was unvaccinated. He had been meaning to get vaccinated but didn’t have a plan and the right information about how to do so. Our canvassers were able to provide him accurate information and help him make a plan to get his COVID-19 vaccine the next day. That’s why we need YOUR help! We are currently seeking volunteers who will join us in making phone calls and knocking on doors in our communities. You don’t need to have prior experience and we will provide all of the training and talking points required.

Looking For Volunteers Come Canvass With Us! Talk to your neighbors about COVID vaccines, booster shots, and flu shots Inform your community about the importance of vaccines and encourage them to get theirs Connect people with local resources and available vaccine appointments

No experience needed! Anyone interested in volunteering to canvass for the Take YOUR Shot vaccination campaign email or call (520) 790-7573 x 1768.

March 2022, Never Too Late | Page 15

Pima Council on Aging


Are you looking for ways to live and age well?

Pima Council on Aging’s Healthy Living Programs offer: • EnhanceFitness exercise classes • Minimizing the risks of falls

• Learning to manage health conditions • Exploring resources for healthy aging • Having fun and connecting with others • And much more! Scheduling classes now - call today!

Online Wellness Lectures • Virtual Support Groups

TMC for Seniors offers a variety of programs to support seniors and their family members. Currently offering online virtual programming at . Limited in-person events at our new location on the Palo Verde Campus. Check online for current programming. NOW OPEN AT OUR NEW LOCATION: 2695 N Craycroft Road on the Palo Verde Campus 520.324.1960 |

Learn more and register (520) 305-3410


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Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Living

Small steps. Positive changes. Healthier living. At least 91% of older adults have at least one chronic condition and 77% have two or more. Diabetes affects 23% of older adults, and 1 in 3 older adults fall every year in the U.S. Most falls can be prevented.

Healthy Living with Chronic Pain offered in-person

April 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16* Mondays from 1 – 3:30 pm

600 S. Country Club Rd. What: A six-week program for 2.5 hours once a week Registered participants receive a copy of the newly updated book Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain . Contribution: $30 (covers your book & supplies)


Community-based health promotion programs help individuals gain self-confidence in controlling symptoms; manage the progression of long-term and chronic, age-related conditions; and lead an active and productive life that most strive for.

Our current schedule for EnhanceFitness® classes (1 hour class) is: • Mon/Wed/Fri: 9:00 am in-person at the Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center, 600 S. Country Club Rd.* • Mon/Wed/Fri: 10:30 am in-person at the Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center, 600 S. Country Club Rd.* • Mon/Wed/Fri: 10:30 am offered remotely via Zoom • Tues 10:30 am/Thurs 1pm/Fri 11am one hour class in person at Tucson Estates* Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite (located on the PCOA homepage, ). For assistance, call us at (520) 305-3410. The contribution fee is $36/month per participant. Masks are required for all participants and class size is limited to enable social distancing. *Events subject to change due to health precautions. See page 33 for details.

Call (520) 305-3410 for more information.

*Event subject to change due to health precautions. See page 33 for details.

Learn Practical Skills • Gain Self-confidence • Manage Fall Risks • Positive Changes & Healthier Living

March 2022, Never Too Late | Page 17

Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Living

A Matter of Balance offered in-person

Safely Managing Your Pain: What You Need to Know

March 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24* Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30 – 3:30 pm The Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center 600 S. Country Club Rd.

Contribution Fee: $30.00 (covers your book and supplies) A Matter of Balance is being offered remotely and all you need to participate is a computer, laptop or tablet with a video camera, microphone and speakers. Many older adults experience a fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. A Matter of Balance is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. It includes 8 two-hour sessions for a small group of 8-15 participants led by a trained facilitator.

Do you know how to safely and appropriately manage your pain? Whether you turn to over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, prescription pain medications, or even non-drug therapies to help relieve your pain, it is important that you know how to use them safely and appropriately. Attend this workshop to learn how

DATE: _________________________________________________ Online Events Wed., March 9, 2 – 3 pm Thurs., March 31, 11 am – 12 pm Thurs., April 28, 2 – 3 pm To register, go to https://safelymanagepain. For assistance, call 520-305-3410 TIME: __________________________________________________ LOCATION: ____________________________________________ CONTACT: _____________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ RSVP TO: ______________________________________________ HOSTED BY: ____________________________________________

What do participants learn?

Who should attend?

For more information and to register or if you are interested in a remote class, contact Jennie at 520-305-3410. • Recognize fall hazards • Make changes to reduce fall risk at home • Exercise to increase strength and balance The program enables participants to achieve significant goals. They gain confidence by learning to: • Overcome the fear of falling and learn to view falls as controllable • Set goals for increasing activity

The program is designed to benefit older adults who:

• Are concerned about falls • Have sustained falls in the past • Restrict activities because of concerns about falling • Are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength • Are age 60 or older, community-dwelling and able to problem solve

to safely choose, take, keep track of, store, and dispose of your pain medications.

Workshop materials produced by

Alliance for Aging Research



*Events subject to change due to health precautions. See page 33 for details.

Page 18 | March 2022, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

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