Never Too Late July/August 2024

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

Never Too Late Social Health & Wellness, Immunization Awareness Months Para información en Español ver páginas 25 – 28.

July/August 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 • Neighbors Care Alliance • PimaCare at Home


Independence. Vitality. Respect.

Inside • Aging in Our Community 3 • Philanthropy 4 • Community Lunch Program 6 • Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Classes 7-9 • Healthy Minds for Life 10 • Medicare & Senior Medicare Patrol 11-12 • ALTCS Workshop & Social Security Updates: Rights& Benefits 13 • Caregiving 15-17 • Healthy Living 18-20

• Senior Companion Program: Appreciation 21 • Ending Life Well 22 • PCOA Puzzle 23-24 • Nunca Es Demasiado Tarde 25-28 • Visibility Matters 29 • Advocacy 31 • Neighbors Care Alliance 32-33 • Featured Artist 34 • PimaCare at Home 35

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 AUGUST 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 Serenade V, 17 5/16 x 23 13/16” platemark, color intaglio by Andy Rush, 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 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 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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Pima Council on Aging

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

Dear Friends and Colleagues, As we move through the seasons, it's a perfect time to reflect on three critical pillars of our collective well-being: social health, wellness, and immunization awareness. These themes are not only intertwined but also foundational to our mission at PCOA. I’m excited to share some thoughts on how we’re embracing these important areas to enhance the quality of life for our community. Let's start with social health, an area close to my heart. Our connections with others play a huge role in our overall well-being. Strong social ties bring joy, reduce stress, and contribute to a longer, healthier life. According to the National Council on Aging, social isolation and loneliness increases an older adult’s risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cogitative decline, Alzheimer’s Disease, and death. Studies even show a mortality risk from loneliness is comparable to smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day. At PCOA, we’re committed to fostering these important connections. Whether it’s through our Neighbors Care Alliance program, Memory Cafes or our Community Lunch Program, we’re creating opportunities for meaningful interactions. Additionally, our Pima Meals on Wheels program not only provides home delivered meals but also offers a critical social connection for homebound older adults through the delivery drivers, sometimes the only social connection they may have. Loneliness and social isolation are significant issues, especially among

older adults, and we’re actively working to combat these through various initiatives. Imagine a community where everyone feels valued and included—that's the vision we’re striving for. Wellness is another cornerstone of our efforts. We all know that health is more than just the absence of illness; it’s about thriving physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our wellness programs reflect this holistic approach. Activities like EFitness classes and the Matter of Balance program help our participants stay active and maintain mobility, which is crucial for overall health. Beyond physical fitness, we provide mental health support through our one-on-one caregiving and dementia support programs, respite program and community support groups, helping individuals navigate life’s challenges with resilience and grace. Nutrition plays a crucial role in wellness too. In addition to our Pima Meals on Wheels program, we offer our Community Lunch Program at 13 sites across Pima County. Good nutrition is fundamental to maintaining health and well-being, and we’re dedicated to supporting our members in this aspect. Now, just as much as ever, immunization awareness is critical. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools we have to protect ourselves and our community from preventable diseases. For older adults, immunizations are particularly important as we are at higher risk for complications from diseases like influenza, pneumonia, and shingles the older we get. Keeping up with recommended vaccinations helps maintain health and independence by preventing illnesses that can be serious

or even life-threatening. By ensuring that older adults receive the necessary vaccines, we are protecting not only individual health but also the health of our community as a whole. As we focus on these three pillars—social health, wellness, and immunization awareness—we’re reminded of how interconnected they are. Each plays a key role in building a healthier, more resilient community. At PCOA, our commitment is to foster an environment where everyone can achieve their highest potential for health and happiness. As we navigate the complexities of health and wellness in today’s world, I encourage each of you to engage with our programs and initiatives. Visit our Classes and Event Calendar at www.pcoa/org/calendar/ and discover a way to keep aging well! Your participation and feedback are invaluable as we strive to better serve our community. Together, let’s build a future where health and happiness are within everyone’s reach. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our mission. Together, we can create a community where health and happiness flourish. Warm regards,

W. Mark Clark President & CEO

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Pima Council on Aging

Philanthropy “I Wish I Could Do More:” Supporting Your Favorite Charity Even When Times Are Tough

In a time where the cost of living is rising quickly, many of us struggle to give back while also managing our own finances. From the rising costs of food and housing to everyday expenses, the idea of making an impactful gift to a favorite charity can feel like a luxury reserved for those with deeper pockets. However, if making a large donation isn't possible right now, there are still meaningful ways to ensure your favorite charity thrives for years to come. Even modest contributions can make a significant difference. PCOA, like all nonprofits, relies on regular donations of all sizes to sustain our operations and support ongoing projects. By giving what you can now, you help provide essential services, from feeding homebound older adults to supporting key programs such as caregiver training and support groups, Medicare educational programming, and emergency assistance to older adults in need. Every dollar counts, and collective efforts can lead to substantial change. Immediate giving is about recognizing

that even small contributions can collectively make a big impact.

care about for years to come. When life gets tough, it can feel like we can't make a difference. But by giving help now and planning to give more later, we can take back control and make a large impact on the things we care about most. In doing so, we not only support the work of charitable organizations like PCOA but also nurture a sense of hope and possibility that can inspire others to join us in the journey toward a more compassionate and equitable world. Even if you can't afford to make a major gift right now, you can still play a crucial role in ensuring the future of PCOA and your other favorite charities. By making thoughtful, intentional choices about how and when you give, you can support the greater good of your community today and tomorrow. Every contribution, whether given now or planned for the future, helps build a more compassionate and equitable world. If you would like to speak with PCOA's Development staff about planned giving options, please call Sara Mathis at or call (520) 790-7573 ext. 5042.

Planned giving offers a way to make a lasting impact on your favorite charitable causes without compromising your current financial stability. Planned giving options, such as bequests, charitable trusts, and life insurance policies, allow you to support your chosen charities like PCOA in the future. Unlike traditional forms of major giving, which often require immediate larger financial outlays, planned giving allows donors to support their favorite charities through a variety of deferred giving options. The way we talk about giving matters because it shapes how we live and how we approach the human experience. By framing charitable giving as both an immediate and long-term commitment, we can cultivate a sense of connection and purpose that transcends the constraints of our daily lives. This dual approach allows us to address urgent needs today while also planning for a lasting impact that supports the causes we

Planned Giving to PCOA If you are considering including PCOA in your estate plans, you can use the following language when discussing with your estate planner: "I wish to make a planned gift to Pima Council on Aging (PCOA). I direct that $_____ (or _____%) of my estate be given to PCOA, a nonprofit organization located at 8467 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85710, to support its mission of providing services and programs for older adults. PCOA's Tax ID number is 86-0251768. For more information or assistance, please contact Sara Mathis at or call (520) 790-7573 ext. 5042.

Join PCOA in supporting our community by participating in the 2024 Jim Click Millions for Tucson Raffle! Purchase your raffle tickets to win fantastic prizes, including a brand-new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

4xe Plug-in Hybrid, two first-class plane tickets to anywhere in the world, or $5,000 in cash. Your support will directly benefit our programs and services aimed at enhancing the lives of older adults in Southern Arizona. Visit our website to buy tickets online or contact Sara Mathis at (520) 790-7573 ext 5042. All tickets are to be picked up at our office located at 8467 E Broadway Blvd. Hurry, don't miss your chance to win big and make a difference!

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Pima Council on Aging


Move to a better kind of healthcare.

Looking for a higher level of healthcare in Tucson? At ArchWell Health, you’ll enjoy a community of caring that’s totally focused on you and your needs as an older adult. Plus, we’re: • Right in your neighborhood • On a first-name basis with our members • Tracking your progress with routine wellness visits

Visit or call (520) 613-0005 and take us for a spin.

Primary Care for Tucsonans Age 60+


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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 with others is just more fun! • The lunch sites are typically open from Monday – Friday (except as noted and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.) • 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. 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 to expect you, and your lunch will be waiting for you. A suggested donation of $2 to $3 is requested. Community 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

Dementia Capable Southern Arizona

Social Health and Wellness What’s a great way to support brain

esteem, orientation to time and place, and maintaining a sense of reality. If you’re looking for communication tips or activity ideas for engaging with a friend, family, or member or community member who is experiencing memory loss symptoms or has been diagnosed with dementia, there are many resources online and in the community. Dementia Capable Southern Arizona offers several presentations to help enable you to feel more comfortable and confident in your interactions. There are also social activities designed for those living with memory loss and their caregivers around the county, such as Memory Cafes. DCSA Presentations Register today at or scan the QR code.

health? For a lot of us, we may first think of things like diet, reading, and games or puzzles. While those are all true, a lot of us may overlook the importance of social activities. Social health and wellness play a big role in our brain health, just like mental and physical health. Social connections can help to support brain health, reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, delay the onset of dementia, and slow the progression of symptoms in those living with dementia. Brain health is important throughout our life, including after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. For many, the symptoms and diagnosis can lead to withdrawal and isolation. For others, those around them may withdraw because they’re unsure of how to interact with someone living with dementia. However, continued social engagement remains just as important for those living with dementia. Social interactions can help with eating habits, physical activity, sleep, anxiety and depression, self-

Whether you or a loved one is currently living with dementia or you’re looking for ways to improve your brain health and reduce the risk of developing dementia, be sure to engage in regular social interaction. This can include visits with family and friends and neighbors, participating in a class, club, meet-up group, attending community events or religious services, or volunteering. Being socially active is not only fun and rewarding, it’s also healthy!

For more information or to register, contact Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x 1739 or

Village Medical Primary Care Doctors

• Senior Focused Healthcare • Same Day, Next Day Availability • 8 locations in Tucson & Oro Valley • Labs & Immunizations Done On-Site • Treatment for ALL Chronic Conditions Call Steve at (520) 476-3423 for more information.


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Pima Council on Aging

Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Dementia Care Partner Support Group An ongoing program partnership Memory concerns?

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 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 600 S. Country Club Rd.

DCSA now is offering walk-in hours at both PCOA offices. We provide free memory screenings, information, resources, and more! Walk-in hours: The Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center 600 S. Country Club Rd. Mondays 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. The Marian Lupu Building 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Thursdays 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. To schedule an appointment outside of these hours, visit or call (520) 790-7262.

Registration is not 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 Arizona

Training Online (Zoom) Dementia Capable Southern Arizona Classes - July - September 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 and open to all! For more information and to find a Memory Café near you visit or scan the QR code! Memory Cafés in Pima County

In Person Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center (600 S. Country Club)

Monday, August 5 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dementia Friends Information Session (English) Gain a general understanding of dementia with a focus on adopting a mindset of creating a dementia-friendly community. Dementia Friends with Special Emphasis on Faith Communities (English) Dementia Friends with special emphasis on the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled population (English) 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. 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.

Monday, June 17 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 22 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. N/A

Friday, September 20 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. N/A

Jueves, 5 de septiembre 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 25 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 13 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Monday, July 15 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, August 20 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Monday, July 22 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, August 27 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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

July/August 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

Sharp eyes, sharp brain? The potential relationship between visual health and brain health Progressive loss of vision is a common concern for older adults. Currently, about 40 percent of people aged 70 years or older are affected by vision loss, and 23 percent of older adults have both vision and hearing loss. In fact, visual impairment is the third leading cause of disability among older adults, and has significant implications for a person’s quality of life and independence. But do problems with vision also impact cognitive functioning as we get older? The answer to that question is not quite so clear. While researchers have demonstrated that age-related hearing loss increases a person’s risk for cognitive problems, the relationship between visual impairment and cognitive aging remains a little fuzzy. Several recent large-scale studies have reported a connection between vision loss and cognition. These studies suggest that increasing visual impairment puts older adults at risk for developing cognitive impairment, faster cognitive decline over time, and a higher risk for the onset of dementia. For example, among 1,200 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, those with poor visual acuity or depth perception scored worse on tests of memory and language abilities. People with poor contrast sensitivity, that is, the ability to distinguish an object from a background, had difficulty on memory, language, attention, and visuospatial tasks. Other studies have suggested that fading eyesight also increases the risk for developing dementia, although not all studies find a similar increase in risk.

What about the combination of vision loss coupled with hearing loss? A recent longitudinal study in 2021 addressed this question among 7,500 people, ages 65 and older, in the U.S. National Health and Aging Trends Study. They found that those individuals with declining eyesight and hearing loss were 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with dementia over seven years compared to people without vision and hearing loss. These are pretty scary statistics, particularly given how common it is for vision and/or hearing to decline with age. However, there are a couple of important points to consider when interpreting these studies that makes the connection between sensory loss and cognitive impairment not quite so straightforward. First, importantly, people with failing eyesight have a lot more difficulty taking cognitive tests. Many cognitive tests require intact vision – looking at pictures, reading passages, responding to prompts on a computer screen, and so on. Even if someone isn’t experiencing dementia or cognitive problems of any sort, they’re still more likely to perform worse on clinical tests if their vision is poor. Scientists really don’t yet have a way of accounting for this difference in ‘test difficulty’ due to vision loss. Secondly, there’s an important question about which comes first – vision loss or cognitive impairment? Some studies suggest that declines in visual ability precedes the onset of cognitive changes, suggesting that the visual loss is causing cognitive problems. But it’s equally possible that cognitive problems lead to more difficulty with vision. Vision is

much more complicated than you might think. We take in information from the world through our eyes, but then we interpret everything we see using our knowledge of the world and memories of past events, places, and people. Even problem-solving skills play an important role in making sense of visual input to the brain. So it’s equally possible that subtle changes in cognition are driving some of the decreases in visual acuity and visual perception that people experience as they age. Alternatively, it could be that both vision and cognitive impairment occur together, simply because the aging brain is changing in ways that affect perceptual abilities and cognitive abilities similarly. One isn’t causing the other at all, they’re just changing hand-in-hand with increasing age. Figuring out “which comes first” is very important. Some researchers have interpreted these findings to suggest that preserving or restoring people’s vision can reverse the risk for dementia and help older adults maintain their cognitive abilities. At this point, we simply don’t know whether visual loss leads to cognitive decline, or whether it’s the other

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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 premiums and/or Part D drug costs for those who qualify.  How to find plans that offer the lowest costs for the prescriptions you take. Pick up plan comparison spreadsheets for Pima County Medicare beneficiaries!

Date 2nd and 4th Wednesdays


Registration Links


July 10 & August 14

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Tucson, AZ 85716 Virtual via Zoom

July 10 & August 14 (virtual) July 26 & August 28

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Murphy-Wilmot Library 530 N. Wilmot Rd. 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.

July/August 2024, Never Too Late | Page 11

Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Corner

Medicare and Vaccines • Influenza (flu) shots, including both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine • Pneumococcal (pneumonia) shots

To avoid billing issues, it is usually best to make sure that your health care provider or pharmacy administering the vaccine will bill your Part D plan. When you get a vaccine at your doctor’s office, ask the provider to call your Part D plan first to find out if your provider can bill your Part D plan directly. Coverage may be different with Medicare Advantage. Contact your plan for more information. Contact PCOA Medicare at (520) 546-2011 for more information.

Since January 2023, all Medicare-covered vaccines have been administered at no cost to Medicare beneficiaries. This means that you should not owe any cost-sharing such as a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible for your covered vaccines. If your provider recommends that you get a vaccine, in most cases it will be covered by your Part D plan. Part D plans must include most commercially available vaccines in their formularies, including vaccine for shingles. However, there are certain vaccinations that are always covered by Part B such as:

• Hepatitis B shots • COVID-19 vaccine

Part B also covers vaccines after you have been exposed to a dangerous virus or disease. For example, Part B will cover a tetanus shot if you step on a rusty nail, or a rabies shot if you are bitten by a dog.

Your Medicare Statements • The amount approved by Medicare for payment. • How much Medicare paid.

Medicare statements outline payments made on a beneficiary’s behalf for Medicare covered services. There are two primary types of statements received by Medicare beneficiaries: Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) and Explanations of Benefits (EOBs).

Tracker. If you notice any mistakes, or have questions, call your provider or plan with your questions. If you still have questions or need further help, contact your local SMP (select your state on the left and click "search"). • Medicare’s website, www.medicare. gov , allows beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare to create a secure Medicare account to view their most recent MSNs, track claims made on

• What the beneficiary may be billed. Detect Potential Fraud, Errors, or Abuse • Review yours or your loved ones' Medicare statements as soon as they arrive to ensure that all the services listed were received. • Keep a record of medical visits, tests, receipts for services, and equipment received. A My Health Care Tracker, available from your local SMP, can help you keep a record of these services. • Compare your statements to your receipts, records, and My Health Care

• Beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare receive quarterly MSNs. • Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans receive monthly EOBs. • Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plans receive monthly EOBs. MSNs and EOBs explain: • What services the health care provider billed for.

their behalf, and check payment status. You can also review all bills processed within the past 36 months. Contact PCOA Medicare at (520) 546-2011 for more 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.

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Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

Ready To Retire? Apply Online With Social Security By Jack Burns, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in AZ

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.

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement and our online tools can help. Go to to access your personal my Social Security account to get an estimate of your retirement benefits based on your earnings record. Once you have an account, you can use our Plan for Retirement tool to see how your benefits can change at different ages. Don’t have a personal my Social Security account? You can create one at myaccount. You can also use your personal my Social Security account to see your entire work history and make sure we have all your wages recorded correctly. We base your benefit amount on the earnings reported to us. If you find any errors in your work history, read our factsheet, How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record at 10081.pdf. When you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, you can complete our online application in as little as 15 minutes at retirement. We will contact you if we need any further information. You can check the status of your application using

your personal account. You can apply online for Social Security retirement benefits, or benefits as a spouse, if you: • Are age 62. • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record. • Have not already applied for retirement benefits. • Want your benefits to start no later than 4 months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than 4 months in advance). Note: If you were born on the first or second day of the month, you meet this requirement in the month of your 62nd birthday. If you were born on any other day of the month, you do not meet this requirement until the following month.

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: August 28th Fourth Wednesday of each month from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 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: July 24th Location: The Katie | 600 S Country Club Rd

Find out more about retirement benefits at

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Pima Council on Aging


Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia: Managing Hydration in Tucson’s Summer Heat Staying hydrated can be a significant challenge for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, especially during Tucson’s scorching summer months. Understanding these unique hurdles and implementing practical strategies is essential for caregivers. Thirst: Dementia can impair the ability to recognize or communicate thirst cues. 2. Communication Barriers: Difficulties in verbal expression and comprehension can hinder the ability to convey thirst or understand prompts to drink. 3. Physical Limitations: Decline in motor skills or swallowing difficulties can affect the ability to independently access or consume fluids. Strategies to Promote Hydration: 1. Offer Fluids Regularly: Provide water and other hydrating beverages throughout the day. Use clear, labeled cups to encourage drinking. 2. Monitor Fluid Intake: Track daily fluid consumption and ensure fluids are easily accessible. 3. Use Water-Rich Foods: Serve fruits like watermelon and oranges that have high water content to supplement fluid intake. 4. Create a Hydration Routine: Establish a regular schedule for offering drinks, particularly during hot weather or after physical activities. Recognizing Signs of Dehydration: Challenges in Hydration for Individuals with Dementia: 1. Reduced Awareness of 1. Watch for Symptoms: Look for signs like dry mouth, dark urine, confusion, irritability, or behavior changes, which can indicate dehydration. 2. Consult Healthcare Providers: Discuss hydration strategies and concerns with healthcare professionals. By understanding and addressing these challenges, caregivers can significantly enhance their loved one’s quality of life and health during Tucson’s summer heat. Your attentive care ensures they stay comfortable and hydrated, promoting overall well-being.

Join us in providing compassion and support to our homebound neighbors MORE THAN MEALS Pima Meals on Wheels Delivers


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Pima Council on Aging


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

Tues., July 9 Wed., Aug. 7 Thurs., Sept. 12

Wed., Oct. 16 Fri., Nov. 15

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

• Stress Management & Grief • Communication • Dementia Behaviors & Issues • Finances & Legal Resources • Lifelines for Support: Respite & Support Groups • Phone & Technology Use • Grief & End of Life Resources Workshop 1: Steps to Resilience (9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Check in at 8:45 a.m.

Workshop 2: Physical Care and Safety (1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

• 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 & Car Etiquette • Infection Control & Providing Personal Care

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

For any questions or possible respite ideas, call Kelley Hansen at (520) 790-7573 ext. 3413;

Register and/or cancellations on Eventbrite: or call Donna Deleon at (520) 790-7573 ext. 1750;

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Pima Council on Aging



Held in-person or virtually with Zoom.

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.

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,

“[Participation in the group] aids in navigating the shift from life before my partner’s diagnosis and alleviates the weight of guilt and fear for both of us.” -Support Group Attendee


7/1 & 8/5, 1st Monday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (East) In-Person

7/9 & 8/13, 2nd Tuesday 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Virtual ON ZOOM 7/15 & 8/19, 3rd Monday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Midtown) In-Person 7/16 & 8/20, 3rd Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (North) In-Person 7/18 & 8/15, 3rd Thursday

7/22 & 8/26, 4th Monday 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Virtual ON ZOOM 7/23 & 8/27, 4th Tuesday

7/2 & 8/6, 1st Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Oro Valley) In-Person 7/3 ( Rescheduled Due To The Holiday ) 1st Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Virtual ON ZOOM 7/8 & 8/12, 2nd Monday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Green Valley) In-Person

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (Southwest) In-Person 8/1 ( Virtual Workshop: Continuum of Care ) 1st Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Virtual ON ZOOM 8/14, 2nd Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (East) In-Person

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Virtual ON ZOOM

*NOTE: Meetings will not be held on days where holidays are observed. PLEASE RSVP for all groups. At all in-person meetings we continue to social distance. Mask are 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

Caregiving Achieving Social and Physical Wellness—Together By Ann Gile , Aging and Caregiving Specialist

What is Social Wellness? It is a sense of wellbeing in social connections with family, friends, and community associates. It is the ability to live life as well as possible, on life’s terms, with the people in our inner circle. Social Wellness is successful when we, and the important people in our lives, purposefully commit to investing energy, nurturing, and creativity in deepening relationships. It requires effort and intentionality at every age and life stage, but may require additional attention as we age. Where we live is an important consideration when developing social wellness. A person’s social circles and connections will vary in both size and depth if they live independently, in assisted living, or in a skilled nursing facility. Think about your living situation and identify strategies for getting to know the people around you. It’s amazing what a smile and a simple “hello” can do! As we age, our energy levels and ability to reciprocate—to both give and receive in relationships—changes. Think about the time of day when you feel strongest, and the activities you enjoy most. These may be hints to help you connect with others who share your energy and interests. If you typically give, be sure to receive kindness and friendship. And if you generally receive, intentionally create happy moments for others. Social isolation (a lack of connection with others) is a common aging experience, but it does not have to be enduring. As time passes, people may move away,

lose cherished memories, or succumb to illness—our inner circle decreases. This impairs our social and physical wellbeing. But pursuing social wellness benefits our bodies too! It’s amazing what a smile and a simple “hello” can do! Research consistently shows that social connection is a protective factor against mental and physical health conditions including: • Depression and anxiety • Type 2 diabetes • Heart disease and stroke • Dementia • Early death Pursuing social and physical wellness is a means to achieve a healthier, happier, and longer life. Commit to strengthen your connections to people and supports, and consider these suggestions: o Say “hello” and introduce yourself to neighbors

o Join an interest group, or visit a local senior center o Attend an exercise class for older adults o Invite important people to coffee or a potluck at your home o Volunteer at your civic, or faith community o Ask for help—and receive it—when you have a need! Family members, neighbors, and friends of aging adults must also do all we can to promote social connectedness for our older population. We can check on our neighbors regularly. We can offer rides to those needing assistance with errands or medical appointments. We can invite loved ones to meaningful events. By understanding the importance of relationships and connection, we can help older adults achieve social and physical wellness—together! To speak with an Aging and Caregiving Specialist for additional support or ideas, contact our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 today!

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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, and chronic pain. If you’re interested in 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:

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday Randolph Recreation Center , 200 S. Alvernon Way, Bldg. 1 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. El Rio Recreation Center , 1390 W. Speedway Blvd. | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Udall Park, Carol West Senior Center , 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd. | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Clements Regional Center, Fitness Ctr. , 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center (Fitness Rm), 600 S. Country Club Rd. Monday, Wednesday, Friday In-Person | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Remote | 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tucson Estates (TENHN) ,

A Matter of Balance®

5900 W. Western Way Circle Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mondays – Recreation Hall, Wednesdays and Fridays – Multi-Purpose Hall

Healthy Living with Chronic Pain®

The Healthy Living suite of classes covers topics including 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 Enhance Fitness Sites Monday, Wednesday, Friday – registration via Pima 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. | 10 – 11am 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.

Contribution: $36 per person/per month.

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Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Living

A Matter of Balance® Offered in person – Community Workshop

A Matter of Balance® is a workshop designed to reduce the fear of falling and help participants learn to view falls as controllable, set goals for increasing activity and make changes to reduce fall risks at home. It includes 8 two-hour sessions for 10-15 participants and is led by trained coaches.

Oro Valley Recreation and Community Center 10555 N. La Canada Dr., Oro Valley, AZ July 30, August 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22 Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Udall Park 7200 E. Tanque Verde Rd. August 27, 29, September 3, 5, 10, 12, 17 & 19 Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Contribution: $30.00 (covers your book and supplies)

A Matter of Balance® Volunteer Opportunity Chances are you know someone who has fallen or has a fear of falling. A Matter of Balance ® is a proven cognitive restructuring program designed to help people realistically manage concerns about falls and increase physical activity. PCOA is looking for volunteers to help offer this program. Training is provided.

“Excellent class! Makes you feel you are not alone. We all have fallen and can do better, be smarter, and more aware of our surroundings.” — MOB participant

For more information and to register, contact Jennie at (520) 305-3410.

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

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Pima Council on Aging

Healthy Living

The Aging Mastery Program ® (AMP) classes in person Tuesdays, September 10 – November 12, 2024, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Aging Mastery Program ® (AMP) classes will explore: • Navigating Longer Lives • Exercise and You • Sleep • Healthy Eating and Hydration • Financial Fitness • Advance Planning • Healthy Relationships

• Medication Management • Fall Prevention • Community Engagement

The Aging Mastery Program® offers a highly rated, comprehensive approach to aging well. The program combines classes with expert speakers, group discussion and goal setting to help older adults gain new skills to make small, meaningful changes in their lives. PCOA offers the evidence-based program under license with the National Council on Aging (NCOA), which developed the curriculum to offer a roadmap for aging. Limited spots available: Sign up now! or click on the QR code.

Registration and fee is payable in advance for all 10 weeks of the program. Book and resource materials are provided.

Fee: $89/person if registered and paid by Tues., Sept. 3rd. After Sept. 3rd, fee is $99/person. (No refunds after Tues., September 6, 2024)

Location: Offered in person at The Katie PCOA Healthy Aging Center (TEP Room), 600 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ

For more questions and information, call Pima Council on Aging, (520) 305-3409 Join the adventure!

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Pima Council on Aging

Senior Companion Program PCOA’s Senior Companion Program Indelibly Touched the Hearts and

Lives of Older Adults! By Deb Seng , Caregiving and Community Initiatives Director Since 1974, the Senior Companion Program has helped isolated older adults, throughout the United States, remain safe and independent at home for as long as possible by providing friendly visits, assistance with daily tasks, and caregiver relief. An AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer program, PCOA sponsored Senior Companions in Pima County from July 2018 until June 2024. In recent weeks, we bid a deeply grateful (and sincerely sad!) farewell to our Senior Companion Volunteers and partners.

• Southern Arizona Veterans Health Care, Volunteer Visitor Program • St. Luke’s Home • Tohono O’odham Nation, Senior Services • Community Services System at PCOA • Family Caregiver Support Program at PCOA

individuals, families, and our community. PCOA was privileged to be a small part of their journeys to make a difference—and their impact is still felt! To all of our former Senior Companion Volunteers and our partners in Pima County—thank you! Thank you for living your life in service to others! And for bettering us here at PCOA. We miss you. While PCOA no longer sponsors the Senior Companion Program, we recognize the importance of volunteerism and neighbors helping neighbors. We proudly offer opportunities for people to engage, connect, and serve, both with PCOA and its affiliates, and as part of our Neighbors Care Alliance. To learn more, visit our website at: https:// or call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262.

Since 2018, when the Senior Companion Program began at PCOA, more than 300 older adults and their loved ones have received meaningful and critical assistance to remain socially engaged and safely at home—even through the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients benefitted from the more than 70,000 service hours provided to them at no cost! And as a result of their Senior Companions, clients overwhelmingly reported an improvement in their quality of life and independence! National Service Volunteers (in programs like the Senior Companion Program) have also been shown to manifest improved physical and mental health because of the purpose and social connection they derive from volunteering for others. Of the approximately 30 volunteers who served as Senior Companions with PCOA, a large number went on to participate in other volunteer and employment opportunities focused on bettering the lives of

PCOA’s Senior Companions served clients of partner agencies who provided (and continue to provide) a wide range of supports and services to older adults and adults with disabilities. These partners are unsung heroes who supported Senior Companion Volunteers on top of their daily work responsibilities. And they did so with compassion, wisdom, and dedication! PCOA recognizes and honors the support provided by the staff and administration at the following partners: • Jewish Community Center • Jewish Family and Children’s Services • Lutheran Social Services • Pascau Yaqui Tribe, Senior Services

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Pima Council on Aging

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