5274 Scotts Valley Dr., #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 831-430-0616 www.VisitingAngels.com/CentralCoast 229 Reindollar Ave., Suite E Marina, CA 93933 831-392-0876
Behind the Wheel Helping Seniors Stay Independent
E very year, I have the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of seniors. I get the opportunity to hear their stories, learn about their struggles, and help them discover resources that will help. In my experience, the most difficult thing that can happen in a senior’s life, besides fighting an illness, is giving up driving. There are many reasons why seniors might not feel safe behind the wheel anymore. Some people struggle with diminishing eyesight or find that their reactions aren’t as quick as they used to be. Other seniors have memory issues. I’ve heard many frightening stories over the years about seniors who were in the middle of driving when they forgot where they were going. For family members, it can be scary to think about Grandma or Grandpa being behind the wheel of a car. No one wants to answer the phone and learn their loved one has been hurt in an accident. My grandmother gave up driving at age 85 after she got into an accident. She was turning left at a light, the sun was in her eyes, and she couldn’t see the other car coming. She ran right into them and totaled her beloved Volvo. My grandmother was bruised up, but she recovered. Fortunately, the other driver wasn’t hurt, but my grandmother decided right then and there that she wasn’t going to drive anymore. She didn’t want to be a danger on the roads. At the time, my grandfather was still able to safely drive, so he could take my grandmother around town after she gave up her license. But few seniors are as fortunate. Many don’t live near their family members, and those who do don’t often reach out for rides because they don’t want to be a bother.
“There are many reasons why seniors might not feel safe behind the wheel anymore.”
Today, there are various transportation options to help seniors get around, but these can be difficult to use for a number of reasons. Visiting Angels can help in a lot of ways. Our Angels can find maps of public transit, help fill out applications for shared-ride programs, or teach seniors how to use ride-share apps like Uber or Lyft. They can even provide seniors transportation to and from appointments if these trips are made during their visiting hours. We can’t keep seniors’ lives from changing when they give up driving, however, I am grateful that our Visiting Angels can help with transportation, making things a little bit easier. We know that independence is often a crucial component to happiness. We want to help seniors maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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Personalized Homecare ... When You Need It ... From People You Trust!
Turning to Video Games After Retirement
some of the world’s most skilled esports players. Their mission was simple: to show the world that gaming is for people of all ages. Each member picked up the game for different reasons; some played as a way to connect to their grandkids, while others did it to pass the time. One thing’s for certain: This alliance has turned into a hellscape for their opponents. With every team member being over the age of 60, the combination of BirDie, Windy, Knitting Knight, Teen Slayer, and Berra Bang — all gaming aliases — has proved to be a first-of-its-kind powerhouse in the growing circle of older gamers. As one member explained, the game is not just for having fun. Gaming has given the team a chance to connect and be a part of a massive worldwide community. The gameplay also allows for mental exercise. It offers teamwork challenges and improves cognitive function, multitasking skills, and reflexes. If The Silver Snipers are passing along one message, it’s that you’re never too young for an old-fashioned digital beat down.
The rise in popularity of game-streaming platforms like Twitch — a service seemingly only used by snarky teens playing under quirky
aliases — has paved the way for a whole new generation of video game enthusiasts. They just might not be the type you had in mind. Clips and articles are popping up online showcasing how older generations of tech aficionados have taken to gaming en masse. Long gone are the days of grandparents calling grandsons in frustration to ask how to send an email. The current generation of seniors bucks the stereotypical ignorance of technology, embracing handheld controllers and battle cries as they take on their decades-younger counterparts in the digital arena. One team in particular has stolen the spotlight of late: The Silver Snipers, bringers of destruction in “Counter-Strike” leagues around the world. The team from Stockholm, Sweden, took their talents to the stage of Dreamhack 2017, an esports tournament, where they battled it out against
Creating a Home Care Plan
To Live Your Best Retirement
aid of another person or are housebound. Visit Benefits. va.gov to learn more.
When retirement approaches, you may be thinking about the freedom you’ll enjoy after putting in your last nine-to-five. It’s a culmination of years of hard work and a cause for celebration! Before you get to celebrate, though, it’s important to consider what kind of support you might need down the road. With our generation living longer than our parents, there’s a possibility that we may require additional support services. You and your spouse may not know if either of you will need in-home care, but considering this possibility and the financial factors that come with it can help you better enjoy this exciting phase of your life. In most cases, neither Medicare or Medi-Cal covers in-home care. There are some exceptions, like home- and community- based services that are state and locally funded and cover those who qualify through Medi-Cal. If you or your spouse are veterans and meet the requirements, you may be eligible for aid and attendance benefits. These benefits are paid for by the VA in addition to a veteran’s monthly pension. It may cover the costs of in-home care for veterans who require the
Still, you may not want to rely on qualifying for one of these services. Consider adapting your estate plan to
include designated in-home care. Meet with your attorney to review your living trust and see if it addresses a caregiver. Talk to your family members and loved ones about the possibility that you or your spouse may need this service. While a family member may offer to step into that role, consider how easily they will be able to carry it out. Even a part-time caregiver could provide you with support and make your family members feel like they are not doing it alone. Planning for the possibility that you may need in-home care services can help make your retirement even more enjoyable. Knowing you’ll have a close helping hand can ease your family’s worries and even strengthen your bond.
GRANDPARENTS ON THE GO
Staying Mobile When You Can’t Drive
Giving up their license is one of the biggest challenges most seniors face. No longer driving means giving up some independence, and a lot of seniors become isolated and depressed. Public transit is a popular alternative to owning a car, but the fixed route of buses and high cost of cabs don’t work for everyone. Here are a few resources to help seniors stay on the go even when they’re no longer driving. Paratransit If physical or cognitive disabilities prevent seniors from being able to use traditional public transit, paratransit may be a viable alternative. Santa Cruz Metro’s ADA complimentary paratransit, Metro ParaCruz, offers door-to-door ride services to members of the community. Learn more about Metro ParaCruz by calling 831-425-4664 or visiting their website at SCMTD.com/en/metro-paracruz. Ride-Share Apps Ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft have great potential for seniors who are no longer driving. Because drivers are often
available at any time of day and can be scheduled within minutes, these services empower seniors to go where they’d like when they’d like. Due to the fact that a smartphone is required to request a ride from these apps, these services may not be an option for less tech-savvy seniors. Community Bridges: Lift Line Community Bridges is a nonprofit dedicated to helping vulnerable members of the community live happy, full lives. Eligible seniors of all abilities can get free rides to medical appointments through Lift Line, Community Bridges’ door-to-door ride-share program. Lift Line also offers Taxi Scrip coupons at a discounted rate, so seniors can pay for cab rides from participating taxi companies. Learn how to enroll in Lift Line by calling 831-688-8840 or visiting CommunityBridges.org/liftline. Giving up your license doesn’t have to be the end of the road. With a little creativity, seniors can find new options that let them be as mobile as possible.
Asparagus and Avocado Soup
This hearty soup is the perfect meal for those late winter days when you think spring will never come. It can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.
Ingredients • 12 ounces asparagus • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped • 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed • Juice of 1/2 lemon • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer asparagus to blender. Add remaining ingredients and purée until smooth. 4. Season to taste and serve.
Inspired by CookEatPaleo.com
831-430-0616 | 3
Personalized Homecare ... When You Need It ... From People You Trust!
5274 Scotts Valley Dr., #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 24/7 831-430-0616
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
Scotts Valley Office Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday
www.VisitingAngels.com/CentralCoast Home Care Organization #444700002
When It’s Time to Stop Driving
Age Is Only a Level Number
Considering the Costs of Home Care
How Seniors Can Stay on the Go
Asparagus and Avocado Soup
Live Your Art
LOCAL EVENTS TO INSPIRE YOUR ARTISTIC SIDE
THE ORCHESTRA MOVES — FAMILY CONCERT WHERE: Santa Cruz Civic Center Auditorium, Santa Cruz
When is the last time you let your creative side shine? Local art group Follow the Sun presents a night of fun and creativity at Hotel Paradox. A perfect event for beginners and experienced artists alike, this two-hour painting session will teach you how to make your own work of art. Your canvas, paint, bushes, and apron are included with ticket price, so register now and claim your spot at this fun event.
WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2 p.m. ADMISSION: See website for ticket information WEBSITE: SantaCruzSymphony.org/ concerts-events/orchestra-moves
Music exists to move us, body and soul. The Santa Cruz Symphony invites you and your family to experience firsthand how music can move us at an interactive orchestra! Enjoy a vibrant show from a professional orchestra playing all the greats, from Beethoven to Mozart! After the show, there will be an Orchestra Petting Zoo where kids can try out various instruments and talk to some of the musicians. Get your tickets, and discover how music moves us every day. PAINT THE NIGHT WHERE: Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz WHEN: Monday, Mach 18, 5:30–7:30 p.m. ADMISSION: $35 WEBSITE: FollowTheSunArt.com/pages/paint-with-me
AYURVEDIC COOKING CLASS WHERE: West Side New Leaf Market, Santa Cruz WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ADMISSION: $47 WEBSITE: SantaCruzAyurveda.com What to lead a healthier life? Just listen to your gut! Around 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Ayurvedic cooking focuses on creating tasty, nutritious meals that also promote good gut health. This workshop will teach you the art of Ayurvedic cooking, from picking out the right ingredients in the store to sharing a meal with your family.
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