Never Too Late March/April 2024

Publication of Pima Council on Aging, Helping Pima County Age Well Since 1967

Never Too Late Para información en Español ver páginas 26 – 29

Nutrition, Public Health Month

March/April 2024 What’s News • Aging in Our Community • Dementia Capable SoAZ • Healthy Minds for Life • Medicare & SMP Updates • Rights & Benefits • Caregiving • Community Lunch Program • Healthy Living: Classes Happening Now! • Ending Life Well • PCOA Puzzle • Visibility Matters • Advocacy • Senior Companion Program • Neighbors Care Alliance • CareGiver Training Institute • PimaCare at Home


Independence. Vitality. Respect.

Inside • Aging in Our Community 3 • Philanthropy 4 • Meals & Nutrition; Community Lunch Program 5-7 • Dementia Capable Southern Arizona 8-9 • Healthy Minds for Life 10 • Medicare & Senior Medicare Patrol 11-12 • Rights & Benefits 13-15 • Caregiving 16-18 • Healthy Living 19 - 21

• Ending Life Well 22 • Senior Companion Program 23 • PCOA Puzzle 24-25 • Nunca Es Demasiado Tarde 26-29 • Visibility Matters 30 • Advocacy 31 • Neighbors Care Alliance 32-33 • Featured Artist 34 • CareGiver Training Institute 35 • PimaCare at Home 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 2024. Editor Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 Editorial Assistant Jan Slonaker, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5076 Advertising Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 Design Consultant Lori Lieber, Lori Lieber Graphic Design Editorial and Advertising Deadline for Next Bi-Monthly Issue APRIL 1 2024 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.

On the Cover: Detail from Happy Tourist , 36x24 in, Acrylic Stretched canvas 1 1/2” profile by Kim McKay, The Drawing Studio. (Story, full image on inside back cover) Connect with us The best way to access our services is by calling our Helpline between 8:30 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday at (520) 790-7262 or emailing • Our 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. building is open for those requiring in-person assistance. • Our 600 S. Country Club Rd. building is open for those requiring in-person assistance.




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Page 2 | March/April 2024, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

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

to rising food, fuel, and wage expenses, unfortunately, necessitates a 30% reduction in the number of clients we can serve. Since we will not be removing any current Pima Meals on Wheels recipients from the program, we have started a waiting list, effective since January. We have halted all new entries into Pima Meals on Wheels and employing the waiting list for eligible clients until we reach the budgetary capacity goal for participation. With the current attrition rate, we anticipate getting to our capacity goal by this summer. Once there, we will employ a “One-off, One-on” client method to maintain the number of adults afforded by the revised budget. We understand the impact this will have on those we serve and are working with our partners to address these challenges while maintaining the essence of the program. Callers placed on the waiting list are provided with other community resources for their nutritional needs. Still, our entire service provider community faces diminishing resources due to rising operating costs. Your continued support is vital as we strive to adapt and overcome these obstacles to ensure that the Pima Meals on Wheels program remains available to every eligible home-bound older adult in Pima County. As we face these challenges, it is crucial to emphasize that the Pima Meals on Wheels program is not just about delivering meals but about sustaining the essence of community, ensuring that no older adult in Pima County goes hungry and feels isolated. The Pima Meals on Wheels delivery drivers, the unsung heroes of this

Dear PCOA Community, Today, I am reaching out with an urgent message that combines statistics with the heart of our community. PCOA has been the sponsor and administrator of the Pima Meals on Wheels program, a lifeline for countless home-bound older adults and those with disabilities in Pima County for nearly half a century. This invaluable initiative, supported by your generosity and with the assistance of our dedicated community partners - Catholic Community Services (CCS), Lutheran Social Services in the Southwest (LSSSW), and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, has been more than a meal delivery service; it is a pillar of nourishment and social connection. Behind each statistic is a story, a face, and a person who relies on this program for more than just a meal. However, I must share with you the challenges we face in the coming fiscal year. As we all navigated the difficulties of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels programs across the country experienced a surge in demand, amplifying its importance in the lives of those we serve. Pandemic funds were distributed to Meals on Wheels programs nationwide to help address this surge, but these funds will end this year. While the funds are ending, the number of adults eligible for home-delivered meals hasn’t diminished, causing significant budgetary constraints nationwide. Locally, the cessation of governmental pandemic funding for Pima Meals on Wheels will result in a reduction of over 25% of the current budget. This, compounded by a significant increase in operating costs due

program, do more than transport meals – they are often the only "welfare check" and source of social interaction some older adults have with the outside world. Imagine the impact of a nutritious meal delivered to the doorstep of someone who might otherwise struggle to prepare one for themselves. Picture the smiling face of a Pima Meals on Wheels driver (read about driver, Brenda, on page 5), providing food and a lifeline, a moment of connection that transcends the physical act of delivering a meal. For many of those we serve, this brief interaction is a lifeline, a reminder that they are seen, valued, and not alone. As we face these challenges, your support becomes more critical than ever. Your donation, regardless of size, maintains the Pima Meals on Wheels program's essential services. You can make a difference by donating online at, calling our office at (520) 790-0504 for a credit card donation over the phone, or using the remit slip on the following page to mail a check to PCOA. Your generosity fuels the community spirit, ensuring that the Pima Meals on Wheels program not only endures but thrives. Thank you for standing with us in this challenging moment and being the heart behind every meal delivered and every connection made.

W. Mark Clark President & CEO


March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 3

Pima Council on Aging


URGENT APPEAL: Help Us Keep Meals on Wheels Rolling for Older Adults in Pima County!

Page 4 | March/April 2024, Never Too Late support. Your generosity plays a vital role in ensuring that no older adult in Pima County goes hungry, and we need your help more than ever. This pause in enrollments directly impacts individuals who rely on our program for crucial nutritional needs and vital social interaction. We understand the gravity of this situation and are committed to swiftly resolving the funding challenge to resume full operations. This is where we need your urgent Today, we reach out to you with a crucial message regarding the Pima Meals on Wheels program, a lifeline for many home- bound older adults in our community. For nearly half a century, PCOA has been at the forefront of supporting the well- being of our older adults through this invaluable program. With PCOA providing the necessary funds, our community partners, including Catholic Community Services and Lutheran Social Services in the Southwest, have played a vital role as the entities responsible for cooking and delivering the meals. The demand for our Meals on Wheels program skyrocketed during the pandemic's challenges , and with federal pandemic response funds, we scaled our effort to meet this heightened need. However, despite our best efforts, a recent significant reduction in national pandemic funding has forced us to make difficult decisions to ensure the sustainability of our services. As a result, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of needing to temporarily pause new enrollments , resulting in eligible older adults being put on a waitlist until we can secure a sustainable budget.

I don’t think I would be able to have meals if it wasn’t for this program. Because of my disability, it is difficult to fix a proper meal. I also like that someone comes by several times per week so there is somebody checking on me. Thank you to everyone who puts this program together. You are helping me a great deal! — Pima Meals on Wheels Client

Every donation, no matter the size, brings us one step closer to offering fuller community participation in the Meals on Wheels program and serving those who need it the most. Your compassion can make a significant impact on the lives of those who are most vulnerable. You can make your gift in the following ways: • Donate online at • Call our office at (520) 790-0504.

• Use the remit slip below to mail a check to PCOA at 8467 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710 or drop off during regular office hours – 8:30 AM – 5 PM every weekday.

Note that we are a Qualifying Charitable Organization for the AZ Charitable Tax Credit. This means that when you donate to PCOA, you can claim a dollar-for-dollar credit on your AZ state taxes ($421/individuals, $841/households). Donations made through Apr. 15, 2024 can be claimed on the 2023 AZ state taxes. (QCO Code 20313)

Yes! I care and want to help with:

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A recurring monthly gift of $________ charged to my credit card ($10 minimum).

My check made payable to PCOA is enclosed. Mail to: 8467 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85710 Please charge my gift to my credit card ($10 minimum charge).

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Pima Council on Aging

Meals & Nutrition

Exploring the Heart of Community: Lunchtime Chronicles In this special feature, we bring you a fun Q&A session with a cherished member of our vibrant community who has found a second home at one of our Community Lunch Program sites. Meet Richard, whose story illuminates the true essence of our lunch gatherings – where nutritious meals and heartwarming connections merge seamlessly across all 13 sites scattered throughout Pima County. Meet Richard

Brenda: A Dedicated Heart Behind Pima Meals on Wheels

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the quiet heroes who work tirelessly to ensure that no one is forgotten. Among these unsung champions is Brenda, a devoted Pima Meals on Wheels driver whose unwavering dedication and compassionate spirit embody the heart of our program. For thirteen years, Brenda has been a driver for Pima Meals on Wheels through Lutheran Social Services of the SW and became involved from a deep-seated desire to support her community’s older adult population. "I love what I do," Brenda says with a smile, reflecting on how rewarding she finds her job. "I get satisfaction that I help our clients through not only delivering meals, but I know that they're doing OK too," Brenda explains, highlighting her commitment to more than just delivering meals. Brenda embodies the spirit of care and connection that defines Pima Meals on Wheels. Many clients enjoy her visits and conversations, appreciating her deliveries beyond just the meals and telling her they miss her when she’s not working. Brenda cherishes the connections she has formed with her clients and states that she also misses their interactions when she's not working. Brenda is more than just a driver—she is a dependable presence for those who are homebound and often lonely. "Making sure they are not forgotten. There is a fine line between driver and relative. I like just getting to know them, really; older people are walking history books," Brenda shares, reflecting on her favorite part of delivering meals.

For many clients, the Pima Meals on Wheels deliveries are a lifeline. "I have Parkinson’s so I can’t really cook. This is my main meal. I appreciate it," one client explains, highlighting the crucial role of Pima Meals on Wheels in his life. "It's the recurring happiness in their faces when they open the door and see it's me with their meals," Brenda says. "It never gets old when they open the door and say, 'My day just got a whole lot better,' and it's because of me. It's the memory of knowing that they appreciate me coming to the door, knowing that we stop by and check up on them." As Brenda continues to navigate her familiar routes, she carries with her the legacy of compassion and care that defines Pima Meals on Wheels. With each knock on the door and each smile exchanged, she reaffirms the belief that no one should ever feel forgotten or alone. And for that, we are endlessly grateful. (l to r) William, and Meals on Wheels driver, Brenda “I have been getting meals for around a year and it's been good, I have had the same driver the whole time and she checks up on me.” ~ William

Richard originally heard about the Community Lunch program during the pandemic when meals were being delivered door to door. After

COVID, Richard began to attend Community Lunches in person and says that he enjoys meeting and greeting new people. Do you ever worry about getting enough of the right kinds of healthy foods when you eat somewhere else? “Sometimes I worry I won’t get enough good foods if I don’t come here.”

Find a Community Lunch Site Near You!

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 5

Pima Council on Aging

PCOA Community Lunch Program

Have Lunch and Make a Friend

• Our community lunch program provides an opportunity to make new friends. Let’s face it, eating alone, at home, is no fun. • The lunch sites are typically open from Monday – Friday (except as noted and holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1pm. • There are fun activities available during these hours. Depending on the site, activities include games, movies, crafts and even field trips. • A transportation subsidy may be available to get someone to these lunch programs. Transportation is provided via Sun Van to individuals with disabilities with a current ADA Eligibility Card issued by the City of Tucson. • Lunch programs are open to all individuals 60 and older and their spouse regardless of age. Once you register at a meal site, you will be required to reserve your meals each week. That way, we know you’re coming and your lunch is waiting for you. A suggested donation of $2–$3 is requested. Community Center Lunches are a program of the Pima Council on Aging in collaboration with sub-contracted agencies: Catholic Community Services, Chicanos Por La Causa, and the City of Tucson Parks & Recreation Department.

Check it out here: This Month’s Menu


Ajo Community

290 W. Fifth St., Ajo 85321

(520) 387-5040 (520) 791-4353 (520) 791-4070 (602) 831-1643 (520) 889-0928 (520) 837-8210 (520) 887-9786 (520) 791-4969 (520) 791-3247 (520) 791-2509 (520) 485-7413 (520) 791-5787

Archer Neighborhood Armory Park Senior *

1665 S. La Cholla Blvd., Tucson 85713 220 S. 5th Ave., Tucson 85701 250 N. Silverbell Rd, Tucson 85745 101 W. Irvington Rd., Tucson 85714 1390 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson 85705 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd., Tucson 85705 5000 E. 29th St., Tucson 85711 2160 N. 6th Ave., Tucson 85705

Casa De Encanto

El Pueblo Neighborhood Center El Rio Neighborhood Center

Ellie Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center **

Freedom Recreation Center

Donna Liggins Center

Posada Life Community Center Quincie Douglas Senior Center

780 S. Park Centre Ave., Green Valley 85614 (520) 393-6814

1575 E. 36th St., Tucson 85713

Saguaro Christian Church William Clements Center

8302 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson 85710 8155 E. Poinciana Dr., Tucson 85730

Please call in advance to reserve a meal and for days and hours of operation. Funded by: Federal Older Americans Act through AZ DES/DAAS, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, City of Tucson, and Individual Contributions * Dinner meal only ** Open Mon., Wed., Fri.

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Pima Council on Aging


Meals on Wheels is a solution that addresses the escalating issues of older adult hunger and isolation. The need is great, but Together, We Can Deliver.™



100% provide socialization opportunities 97% train drivers to keep an eye out for older adults wellbeing 66% connect older adults to services in the community when needs are identified



WE CAN SERVE AN OLDER ADULT FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR for roughly the same cost as a day in the hospital or 10 in a nursing home

1 IN 2 OLDER ADULTS LIVING ALONE lacks the income to pay for basic needs

Older adults on fixed incomes are ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE to increases in inflation and cost of living.




of local programs believe there are older adults in their community who need meals who they ARE NOT CURRENTLY SERVING.

say the meals help IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH

say the services help them FEEL MORE SECURE

say the meals help them LIVE INDEPENDENTLY

are confident that they could serve more older adults, IF THE NEW CLIENTS CAME WITH MORE FUNDING.

© September 2023 Meals on Wheels America

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 7

Pima Council on Aging

Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na

Dementia Care Partner Support Group – An ongoing program partnership between Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia Capable Southern Arizona This group can help provide social connection, encourage development of coping methods and maintenance of personal, physical and emotional health as well as optimal care for the person living with dementia. 4th Tuesday of each month 9:30 – 10:30am 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716

MEMORY CONCERNS? Walk-in hours: Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center by PCOA

600 S. Country Club Rd. Mondays 9:00-11:00am

FREE MEMORY SCREENINGS, INFORMATION AND RESOURCES Marian Lupu Building by PCOA 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Thursdays 2:00-4:00pm To schedule an appointment outside of these hours visit or call 520.790.7262

No registration required. For information or questions, please contact Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or

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Pima Council on Aging

Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na

Training Online (Zoom) Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Classes - March & April Dementia Friends Information Session (English) In Person

Saturday, March 23 11am–12 pm

Wednesday, March 27 3–4 pm

Gain a general understanding of dementia with a focus on adopting a mindset of creating a dementia-friendly community.

Flowing Wells Library 1730 W Wetmore Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705 Jueves, 21 de Marzo 11am-12pm Consulado de Mexico en Tucson 3915 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85711 N/A

Miercoles, 24 de Abril 3–4 pm

Sesión informative de Dementia Friends (Español) (Dementia Friends Information Session (Spanish)) Es hora de cambiar la forma en que las personas piensan, actúan, y hablan sobre la demencia. Dementia 101 Learn more about what dementia is and how it effects individuals, families, and communities. Understand common signs of dementia and how to approach memory concerns. Memory Loss: Progressions, Behaviors, and Interventions part 1 Dive into the progression of dementia, the brain changes that occur and behavior and care tips.

Wednesday, April 3 3–4:30 pm

Thursday, May 9 10–11:30 am

Wednesday, April 10 3–4:30 pm

Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center by PCOA , 600 S. Country Club, Tucson, AZ 85716 Thursday, May 16 10-11:30 am Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center by PCOA , 600 S. Country Club, Tucson, AZ 85716

Wednesday, April 17 3–4:30 pm

Memory Loss: Progressions, Behaviors, and Interventions part 2 Take a deeper dive looking at caregiver strategies, common challenges, how to approach them, and non-pharmacological approaches to caring for someone with dementia.

Register today at through Eventbrite at For more information or to register, contact Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or

Are you or a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss? Join us at a Memory Café and experience shared connection and understanding. Inclusive environments offering unique experiences with a variety of activities – guest artists, live music, poets, games and more. Memory Cafés are free of charge and open to all! Find a Memory Café near you by visiting our website or scanning the QR code! Memory Cafés in Pima County

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 9

Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Minds for Life A Message from Lee Ryan, Professor and Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona

Food Insecurity: The Hidden Health Issue for Older Americans

medications, medical services, or even paying the rent. Others have chronic physical and health conditions that make cooking and grocery shopping difficult. Many older adults don’t have access to transportation, making it more difficult to get to grocery stores or food pantries, or they live in rural communities without easy access to quality food sources. Others live alone and don’t have family or caregivers who can help them with grocery shopping and cooking. Poor health is not only a reason for food insecurity among older adults, it also contributes to poor health. The constant worry and uncertainly associated with food insecurity can take a toll on a person’s psychological well-being. Older adults who are food insecure are more likely to experience mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Older adults with food insecurity consume lower levels of key nutrients such as protein, vitamins A and C, magnesium, calcium, and iron that can lead to malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and chronic diseases. Poor nutrition exacerbates health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, gum disease, and osteoporosis. According to the National Council on Aging, seniors who are food insecure are 65% more likely to be diabetic. Several studies have also shown that food insecurity significantly increases the risk for falls, which are the leading cause of injury and disability among older adults. Poor diet is also associated with lower cognitive functions like learning and memory, attention, and concentration, and higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. What can we do to ensure that older adults in our community get the food they need to live a healthy, active life? If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, here are several wonderful local organizations who can help.

In the last issue of Never Too Late , I talked about the importance of eating a healthy, nutritious diet packed with fresh unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A nutritious diet helps maintain our cardiovascular health and also our brain health, leading to better memory, attention, and other cognitive skills as we age. But did you know that millions of older adults in this country don’t have access to sufficient food, or high quality food, to meet their basic nutritional needs? This is often referred to as “food insecurity”, which doesn’t necessarily mean going hungry. For example, an older adult with low food security might depend on low- quality, highly processed inexpensive foods rather than nutrient-dense foods that cost more, such as fruits and vegetables. Many other seniors, however, may eat less food than they actually need. They might regularly skip meals or eat very small portions to stretch their budget further. The scale of this problem is staggering. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society (Leung & Wolfson, 2021) documented that food insecurity increased among older adults across a ten-year period, from 5.5% to 12.4%. Translated, this means that more than five million older adults in the United States currently experience food insecurity on a regular basis. The study also reported that these individuals have diets that are lower in high quality nutritious food. Let’s be clear – food insecurity happens to people of every age. But older adults often face unique challenges that make getting the food they need even harder. For some individuals, limited income makes it difficult to afford the high cost of healthy quality foods. People may find themselves making difficult choices between buying groceries or paying for

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has multiple sites in Tucson and surrounding communities where they provide healthy, nutrient-dense groceries, as well as prepared meals, in order to make nutritious food accessible to everyone. You can find information about their services at Their website also has links to other important programs for seniors including the Arizona Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. SNAP is a need- based, government anti-hunger program that helps older adults buy the food they need to stay nourished, healthy, and active. Pima Council on Aging has an extensive Resource Directory available through their website that lists services ranging from home delivery meals to grocery shopping services. Some services charge a fee, but others are non-profit organizations who can help home-bound adults get the nutritious food they need. Go to http:// or call their Helpline (520) 790- 7262. If you are lucky enough to be food secure , please consider making a donation, or donating your time to support these very important organizations. No one in our community should go hungry. You can find more information about the Precision Aging Network at our website: To hear about ways that you can participate in our research studies, email us at Lee Ryan is a Professor and Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Arizona. She is a researcher studying aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and is a member of the Precision Aging Network.

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Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Corner

2024 Medicare Presentations  Understand the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.  Learn about Medigap and Prescription Drug Plans.  Questions to ask before you enroll.  How and when to enroll.  Learn about Medicare Savings Programs which may help with paying Part B premium and/or Part D drug costs for those who qualify.  How to find plans that offer the lowest costs for prescriptions you take. Pick up plan comparison spreadsheets for Pima County Medicare beneficiaries

Date 2nd and 4th Wednesdays


Registration Links


March 13 & April 10

12 – 3pm

Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center by PCOA 600 S. Country Club Rd.

Tucson, AZ 85716 Virtual via Zoom

March 13 & April 10 (virtual) March 27 & April 24

12 – 3pm

2 – 5pm

Murphy-Wilmot Library 530 N. Wilmot Dr. Tucson, AZ 85711

PCOA is the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Pima County. Contact us at (520) 546-2011 for more Medicare information. This project was supported in part by grant number 90MPPG0022, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 11

Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Corner

Medicare Fraud, Errors, and Abuse Medicare fraud can occur when a provider or facility bills for services you did not receive or were not medically necessary. Examples of potential skilled nursing facility (SNF) fraud: • Learning that your Medicare was charged for: Services that your doctor did not deem medically necessary. Services that you never received. More expensive services than what you received. A greater quantity of services than what you received. SNF services for dates after you were released from the SNF. • Being forced to stay in a SNF until your benefits have expired, even though your condition has improved, and you wish to transition to home health care services. You can stop fraud by: • Reading your Medicare statements to compare the services you received with the services Medicare was charged. • Reporting any charges on your Medicare statements that are not accurate to your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). • Working with your doctor to enroll in SNF services. • Not accepting gifts or money in return for choosing a SNF. • Signing forms only once you have understood them. • Reporting potential fraud to your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). • Reporting quality-of-care complaints to the BFCC-QIO (visit to find your BFCC-QIO). Contact your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) to report Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse. PCOA is your local SHIP/SMP. Contact us at (520) 546-2011. These projects were supported in part by grant number 90MPPG0022, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

Getting help paying your health and drug costs The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the 2024 income standards to qualify for the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP). These income limits are based on the percentage of the Federal Poverty Level. If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get help through MSPs to pay your Medicare costs if you meet certain conditions. Arizona has three levels of Medicare Savings Programs: 1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program: If you are eligible, the QMB Program pays for Part A and Part B premiums. In addition, Medicare providers aren’t allowed to bill you for services and items Medicare covers, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. QMB is for beneficiaries with monthly incomes of up to $1,275 for a single person and, $1,724 for a married couple. 2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program: Pays Part B premiums only. To be eligible, beneficiaries’ income must not exceed $1,526 for a single person, and $2,064 for a married couple. 3. Qualifying Individual (QI-1) Program: Helps pay Part B premiums only. Beneficiary monthly income: $1,715 for a single person, and $2,320 for a married couple. Once you are approved for the Medicare Savings Program, you are automatically approved for Full Extra Help or Limited- Income Subsidy (LIS) program through Social Security. Extra Help/LIS pays your Part D premium and deductible. Additionally, it reduces your Part D co-pays for generic drugs ($4.50) and brand-name drugs ($11.20). However, if your income exceeds the limits listed in this article, you may still qualify for Full Extra Help/LIS to help reduce co- pays for your medications. You will still be responsible for your Part B premiums. For more information and application assistance, please contact us at (520) 546-2011.

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

ALTCS Workshops 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. This workshop is a great place to start when you are considering ALTCS for yourself or for a loved one.


Do you know someone who has been on this earth 100 years?

Registration is required for both the in person workshop and online webinar. To register , go to: , or call Donna DeLeon at (520) 305-3450. Please join us on Zoom from your computer, tablet, or phone Date: April 24 Fourth Wednesday of each month 2:30 – 4 p.m. Location may be subject to change. Eventbrite registration will reflect the most up-to- date location information. The webinar is available by telephone or via Zoom on a computer or smart device. Please join us in person Date: March 27 Location: The Katie | 600 S Country Club Rd

Salute to Centenarians with our annual

Call TMC for Seniors at (520) 324-1960 (520) 324-1960 or email, to submit the individual’s name by Sunday, March 10, 2024.

For local citizens age 99 and over

We look forward to documenting and sharing their stories in our commemorative tribute book.

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 13

Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

Tax breaks for older adults 2024 There are three types of tax programs for which you may be eligible:

o $37,297 for household without dependent child(ren). o $44,745 for household with dependent minor child(ren) OR child(ren) over the age of 18 that are totally and permanently disabled who reside in the home (must be certified by a licensed OR www.asr.pima. gov

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 2023. • Age 65 or older by 12/31/2023 or a recipient of SSI. • Limited household income (Social Security is not counted.) • You paid property taxes and/or rent in 2023. Call PCOA Central Intake at (520) 790- 7262 in Tucson for 140PTC forms, or to make an appointment for assistance in completing this form. THIS CREDIT IS PROVIDED BY THE ARIZONA STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE. This program is open from January 2024 until the tax filing deadline in April 2024. PCOA will be providing Telephone and In-Person appointments for assistance beginning February 1, 2024. 1

The Senior Property Valuation Protection 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. • An individual property owner’s total income from ALL sources , including non- taxable income, cannot exceed $44,264. The total income from ALL sources for two or more property owners cannot exceed $56,580 per the Arizona Department of Revenue. • The deadline for submitting the application is September 1, 2024. You will be notified by December 1, 2024 on the decision of your application. For further information, please contact the Pima County Assessor’s Office. Website at, or call (520) 724-7500.

Arizona medical authority as totally and permanently disabled).

* To include income from all occupants of the residence. i.e., applicant, spouse/ partner, and any child(ren) over the age of 18 who reside in the home. * The total Assessed Value limitation for all properties owned within Arizona cannot exceed $30,099 for each owner. Applicants must hold title to the subject property in the year you are filing for valuation relief and may only be eligible for a partial consideration. Assessor staff will be present at various public libraries during the initial filing period. Please contact the Pima County Assessor’s Office for the schedule & locations. The application period begins with the first business day in January through March 1st. Any applications submitted after March 1st must be accompanied by a waiver. Applications made after October 1, 2024, are only eligible for a reduction to the second half of 2024 property taxes. Applications can be submitted by mail, in person, or electronically. Contact the Pima County Assessor’s Office for further information. Pima County Assessor’s Office (520) 724-7500. Attn: Valuation Relief, 240 N Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

Qualifications for First-Time Valuation Relief applicants:


Applicants must be a permanent Arizona Resident and over the age of 17 and at least one of the following: • Widow/Widower. Must not have been separated or divorced at the time of death. If remarried, the applicant cannot claim an exemption. • 100% totally and permanently disabled. • Veterans who are partially disabled could receive the percentage of the exemption for which they are determined to be disabled by the VA.

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information By Jack Burns , Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Arizona Do You Need A New Or Replacement Social Security Card? We’re Making It Easier!

Depending on your situation, you may be able to request a replacement card without visiting a local office. Choose “ Answer a few questions ” on the Replacement Card webpage at www.ssa. gov/number-card/replace-card to get started. Even if you can’t complete the process online and must visit an office, you can still save yourself time by starting the application online. Were You Asked to Come into an Office? Here’s What You Should Know If you start the application online and we determine you need to come into an office, you can use our new Online Self- Scheduling option . This option allows you to: • Select your language preference. • Select the most convenient office to receive service. • Choose to receive communications and appointment reminders through email or text. • Conveniently use your mobile device to check-in for your appointment. You can also reschedule, modify, or cancel your appointment online without having to call or visit the office. Please note that this service is not available in Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. We hope to make it available soon. It’s never been easier to do business with us! Please share this information with your friends and family—and post it on social media.

If you need a new or replacement Social Security card, we’ve got great news! You may be able to complete, or at least start, your application on our website – and, if necessary, use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment at a local office. Start your application Do you need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) and card? You can visit to begin the process. You’ll answer a series of questions to determine whether you can: • Complete the application process online. • Start the application process online, then bring any required documents to your local Social Security office to complete the application, typically in less time. • Complete the application process at your local office. If you can’t complete the application online, you must visit a Social Security office. To learn more, please review our publication, Your Social Security Number and Card , at 10002.pdf. Replace your Social Security card Want to replace your card? The Card Replacement Screener on our Replace Social Security card webpage at www.ssa. gov/number-card/replace-card helps you determine the best way to do so.

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Pima Council on Aging


Caregiving Essentials: First Steps Training Schedule Free training for informal, nonpaid family caregivers

Fri., March 15 Wed., April 3

Tues., May 14 Wed., June 5

600 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ If staying for both, bring your own lunch. Coffee and water available.

Register on Eventbrite: https://caregivingessentials24. or call Pima Council on Aging, (520) 790- 7573 ext. 1750; • Stress Management & Grief • Communication • Dementia Behaviors & Issues • Finances & Legal Resources • Lifelines for Support: Respite & Support Groups • Phone and Technology Use • Grief & End of Life Resources Workshop 1: Steps to Resilience (9am – 12:30pm)

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

• Proper Body Mechanics • Home Environment Safety & Fall Prevention • Planning for an Emergency • Understanding Assistive Devices • Proper Walking /Transferring Techniques

• Re-positioning with Reassessment • Activity Planning, Outings and Car Etiquette • Infection Control and Providing Personal Care

This training does not provide certification or CEU’s for employment.

For questions, call Kelley Hansen (520) 790-7573 ext. 3413;

For possible respite during training, call Arizona Caregiver Coalition (888) 737-7494 or our Helpline (520) 790-7262.

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Pima Council on Aging



Held in-person or virtually with Zoom

MARCH/APRIL Participation in the groups can be in person, by telephone, computer/tablet/ or smartphone with video. 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. 3/12 & 4/9, 2nd Tuesday , 5:30–7pm Virtual ON ZOOM 3/14 & 4/11, 2nd Thursday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 3/18 & 4/15, 3rd Monday , 1–2:30 pm (Midtown) In-Person 3/19 & 4/16, 3rd Tuesday , 10–11:30am (North) 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. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact: Tonetta Clay, Support Group Facilitator (520) 305-3405, 3/4 1st Monday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 3/5 & 4/2, 1st Tuesday , 12–1:30pm (Oro Valley) In-Person 4/3 1st Wednesday , 1–2:30pm (East) In-Person 3/7 & 4/4, 1st Thursday, 1–2:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 3/11 & 4/8, 2nd Monday , 1–2:30pm (Green Valley) In-Person

“We are all on the same journey and the support helps me recognize that others share the same insecurities and emotions that vary widely from day to day in the life of a caregiver.” -Support Group Attendee

3/21, 3rd Thursday , 1:30–3pm Virtual ON ZOOM 4/18, 3rd Thursday , 1:30–3pm

Virtual Mini Workshop: National Healthcare Decisions Day Event 3/25 & 4/22, 4th Monday , 11am–12:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 3/26 & 4/23, 4th Tuesday , 9–10:30am (Southwest) In-Person

*NOTE: There will be no meetings on days where holidays are observed PLEASE RSVP for all groups. At all in-person meetings we continue to social distance and mask wearing is optional. To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact: Tonetta Clay, Support Group Facilitator (520) 305-3405,

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Pima Council on Aging


By Tonetta Clay, Family Caregiver Support Group Specialist My Loved One Won’t Eat As kids, we are taught to eat well- balanced meals and to not waste food. We take this to heart, but no one tells us that these principles can change as people age. As a caregiver, you may feel that your entire world of food is flipped upside down when the person you care for eats very little (of all the “wrong” things)—or refuses to eat altogether. Watching your loved one eat poorly, or lose weight is cause for concern, so it is best to take action to get to the bottom of the situation. Your loved one may be eating less for a number of reasons like: • Declining appetite (a normal part of aging) • Lessened taste or smell • Limited access to preferred food • Difficulty swallowing • Loneliness, isolation, or depression • Medication side effects • Dental or medical problems (mouth pain, dry mouth, heartburn, GERD) • Dementia As a caregiver, you are not responsible to “make” your loved one eat more. But there are strategies that may help you to best ensure your loved one’s nutrition and wellbeing: • Assist your loved in in getting fresh air, sunshine, and physical activity—all of which stimulate appetite • Set a regular, predictable schedule for snacks and meals

• Ask your loved one what types of foods they want to eat, and keep track of their preferences—especially if they tend to forget • Keep nutritious staples like water, broth, milk or protein shakes, fresh fruit and other snacks in sight and within reach • Try different foods, vary textures, and add different seasonings to “spice things up” • Provide two options for some meals • Cut food into smaller pieces or serve softer foods that are easier to hold, eat, and swallow (think finger foods) • Serve food on small plates and keep the table clutter-free • Make meal times a social event rather than a power struggle—let it be about relationship rather than calories. And invite others to join you

• Seek professional care to address emotional, dental, medical, and/or cognitive concerns If your loved one is eating very little, or not at all, you may find yourself getting angry, insisting, or threatening. None of these responses will improve the situation, but instead, may motivate your loved one to hold more firmly to their independence, defensiveness, or “stubbornness.” Remember that your loved one is dealing with changes and uncertainties, and may feel afraid or discouraged, too. Be compassionate and gently encourage them to eat delicious and nutritious items while showing respect for their wishes and choices. It can be scary to observe changes and declines in your aging loved one. But you are not alone! For personalized support, suggestions, and resources, ask to talk with a Caregiving Specialist by calling (520) 790-7262.

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Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Living

Healthy Living Workshops We offer six-week self-management workshops for those with ongoing health conditions, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, as well as chronic pain. If you’re interested in any of these workshops, please call our Healthy Living Department at (520) 305-3410 to add your name and contact information to our workshop interest lists.

Practice with purpose Are you looking for ways to live and age well?



Our current schedule for EnhanceFitness® classes (1 hour class) is:

Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center (Fitness Rm), 600 S. Country Club Rd. Mon., Wed., Fri.

Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays Randolph Recreation Center , 200 S. Alvernon Way, Bldg. 1 | 9 – 10 am El Rio Recreation Center , 1390 W. Speedway Blvd. | 11 am – 12 pm Udall Park, Carol West Senior Center , 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd. | 11 am – 12 pm Clements Regional Center, Fitness Ctr. , 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. | 8:30 – 9:30 am

A Matter of Balance®

In-Person | 10:30 – 11:30 am Remote | 10:30 – 11:30 am Tucson Estates (TENHN) , 5900 W Western Way Circle Mon., Wed., Fri. 10:30 – 11:30 am

Healthy Living with Chronic Pain®

Mondays – Recreation Hall, Wednesdays and Fridays – Multi-Purpose Hall

The Healthy Living suite of classes covers things like the cause of falls and how to prevent them, strategies to bolster physical fitness and balance, as well as other ways to empower older adults to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite (located on the PCOA homepage), Class size is limited. For assistance, call us at (520) 305-3410. Contribution: $36 per person/per month

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation Sites Mon., Wed., Fri. – registration via county registration site

(520) 305-3410 Small steps. Positive changes. Healthier living.

Ellie Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W Ruthrauff Rd | 10 – 11 am Drexel Heights Community Center , 5220 South San Joaquin Ave. | 12 – 1pm Picture Rocks Community Center , 5615 North Sanders Rd. | 9 – 10 am

Register Now! and look for Community Center Programs. Choose the center of your choice from the list and go to their class listing and look for Senior Fitness for information on EnhanceFitness. If you need help with registration, call the individual centers.

March/April 2024, Never Too Late | Page 19

Pima Council on Aging

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