Never Too Late - July 2023

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

Never Too Late Para información en Español ver páginas 23 – 27

July 2023 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

Healthy Vision Month


Independence. Vitality. Respect.

Inside • Aging in Our Community 3 • Dementia Capable Southern Arizona 4 • Healthy Minds for Life 5 & 7 • Medicare & SMP 8 - 9 • Rights & Benefits 10 - 11 • Caregiving 13 - 15 • Community Lunch Program 16 • Healthy Living 17 - 19

• Nunca Es Demasiado Tarde 23 - 27 • Visibility Matters 28 • Advocacy 29 • Senior Companion Program 30 • Neighbors Care Alliance 31 - 32 • Philanthropy & Wisdom Circles 33 • Featured Artist 34 • CareGiver Training Institute, Healthcare Education by PCOA 35 • PimaCare at Home, In-Home Care by PCOA 36

PCOA Helpline: (520) 790-7262 Administration: (520) 790-0504 Donate: E-mail: Website: Mail: 8467 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85710 Never Too Late is published by Pima Council on Aging, the Area Agency on Aging, Region II. Material from Never Too Late may be reprinted when permission is given and attribution is used along with ©PCOA 2023. Editor Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 Editorial Assistant Jan Baker, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5076 Advertising Adina Wingate, (520) 790-7573 ext. 5067 Design Consultant Lori Lieber, Lori Lieber Graphic Design

• Ending Life Well 20 • PCOA Puzzle 21 - 22

On the Cover: Detail from Jazz Musicians, 48x36 Oil on canvas by Jacqueline Chanda, The Drawing Studio. (Story, full image on inside back cover)

Connect with us

The best way to access our services, including making an appointment for in–person assistance, is by calling our Helpline between 8:30 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday at (520) 790-7262 or emailing • 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.

Editorial and Advertising Deadline for Next Issue JUNE 30 2023

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.




FACEBOOK pimacouncilonaging

Read Never Too Late online at

Page 2 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

Aging in Our Community

A Message from W. Mark Clark, President and CEO

Safeguarding the Vulnerabilities of Older Adults in America: The Importance of Vision Awareness As the population of older adults in Pima County (and nationally) continues to grow, it becomes imperative to recognize and address their vulnerabilities. Older adults face unique vulnerabilities that can impact their overall well-being and quality of life. It’s a fact of life that as we advance with age, physical and cognitive abilities can decline, making us more susceptible to various health challenges. Among these, vision impairment stands out as a particularly significant concern. According to the National Council on Aging, around one in three older adults aged 65 and above experiences some form of vision loss. In my own family, I witnessed my father-in-law experience significant challenges in many areas of his life due to macular degeneration. While my father-in-law was lucky enough to receive wonderful care due to being a disabled veteran, countless other older Americans are not so lucky. Blindness and severe visual impairment are prevalent among older adults, and this number is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Losing sight can restrict a person’s independence, limit social interactions, and affect the ability to perform daily activities. Basic tasks such as cooking, navigating surroundings, and managing medication become challenging, leading to an increased reliance on others for support. Moreover, older adults with vision impairment are at a higher risk of falls, injuries, and depression. These serious challenges affect not only a person’s very physical safety and independence, the combination leads to significant social isolation. Such levels of social isolation itself lead to further and serious health

and well-being issues, such as depression/ anxiety, cognitive decline, impaired immune function, and elder abuse, as no one may be checking in on them to help watch for signs. Every July, National Vision Awareness Month takes center stage to raise awareness about the importance of eye health and vision care. This month-long observance offers an opportunity to educate the public, policymakers, and healthcare professionals about the impact of vision impairment on older adults. The awareness month aims to promote early detection, prevention, and treatment of vision problems through campaigns and initiatives. To ensure the health and welfare of older adults with vision impairment, various measures can be taken: • Regular Eye Examinations: Encouraging older adults to undergo regular eye exams is crucial for early detection and timely intervention of vision-related issues. Routine eye check-ups can help diagnose cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, enabling appropriate treatment options. • Accessible Environments: Creating age-friendly and visually accessible environments can enhance the independence and safety of older adults. This includes adequate lighting, clear signage, and modifications to home settings to minimize hazards. • Assistive Technology: Technological advancements offer a range of assistive devices for individuals with vision impairment. Devices such as magnifiers, text-to-speech software, and wearable assistive technology can empower older adults to engage in daily activities and maintain their autonomy.

• Community Support: Collaborating with community organizations and support groups can provide older adults valuable resources and social connections. These networks can offer emotional support, peer counseling, and opportunities for engaging in recreational activities. Protecting the well-being and dignity of older adults is a shared responsibility. PCOA is here to help you and your loved ones reduce levels of vulnerability through programs such as our Neighbors Care Alliance, a network of neighborhood volunteer programs with a shared mission of helping older adults thrive safely in their homes for as long as possible. We are always looking for volunteers to help with this vital program that genuinely and positively impacts our older neighbors. If you're feeling socially isolated, please check out our Healthy Living programs which offer opportunities to enrich your physical and social well-being. If you need help around your house or updates to make your home safer or are experiencing any forms of abuse (financial, emotional, neglect, psychological, or sexual), please call our Help Line at (520) 790-7262. By recognizing the vulnerabilities faced by older adults, particularly those related to vision impairment, we can work towards creating a society that supports and empowers its aging population. National Vision Awareness Month serves as a reminder to prioritize eye health and promote early intervention, ultimately improving the lives of older adults. Together, let us raise awareness and foster a society that values the well-being of its more senior members.

W.Mark Clark President & CEO

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 3

Pima Council on Aging

Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na

In partnership with Senior Pride 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month 10–11am July 12 & 26 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716 Point of contact – Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or nthomas@ To register , visit https://cafeatthekatie. Aging changes our eyes and our brains. Changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia can affect the way our brain processes visual information and alter our perception of the world or our ability to understand it. For those living with dementia there are two common challenges with seeing and interpreting information - misperceptions and misidentifications. Misidentification is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain and can lead to problems identifying specific people and objects, such as mistaking a TV remote for a cell phone. Misperception is seeing one thing and interpreting it as another and is frequently seen with flooring and items on the ground. For example, someone living with dementia may perceive: • A blue rug to be water. • Green carpet to be grass. • Reflective floors to be wet. • A black welcome mat to be a hole. • A change from wood to carpet to be a step.

slippery and not a similar color to the walls. • When possible, use one uniform type of flooring throughout the entire house. • Use dishes that contrast to the table and food. Red is highly recommended for those living with dementia. • Avoid too many patterns. Peripheral vision is often affected as well, and people’s movements can also be misinterpreted, so there are changes you can make in your approach as well to decrease the likelihood of startling or causing agitation for the person with dementia. • Approach from the front. • Move slowly as you walk toward them (1 second, 1 step is a good guide). • Get to eye level to speak, by kneeling or sitting next to them about an arm’s length away. • Identify yourself before speaking. • Explain what is going to happen next. • Announce when you or someone else is leaving or entering the room.

These perceptions can cause difficulties walking or the ability to avoid those areas. This is one of the reasons that people living with dementia are at a higher fall risk.

Memory concerns? Call the PCOA Helpline at

What can you do to help those living with dementia have an easier time navigating the space around them? • Be sure all areas are well-lit and consider motion-activated lighting. • Label rooms and areas such as cabinets with large print or symbols. • Use colors for items like banisters, doors, toilet seats, and furniture that contrasts with floors and walls. • Use flooring that is not shiny or (520) 790-7262 or visit our website to complete a referral form online https://

In partnership with Posada Life Community Services 3rd Saturday of each month 1–2pm July 16 Posada Life Community Center 780 S. Park Centre Ave. Green Valley, AZ 85614 Point of contact – Ellen March at (520) 393-6840 or

In partnership with AARP Arizona 4th Friday of each month 10–11:30am July 28 AARP Tucson Office 6700 N. Oracle Rd. Suite 331 Tucson, AZ 85704 Point of contact – Aaron Wodka at (520) 730-1170 or

Page 4 | July 2023, Never Too Late

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

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

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.

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

(continued on page 7)

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 5

Pima Council on Aging


The Reality of Aging and Vision Loss in America

By John Crews for ASA Generations Now May 11 2023 As the American population ages, an exponentially large number of older adults will face the staggering impacts of blindness and significant vision loss, their negative effect on quality of life, and sobering correlations between vision loss and social determinants of health. In 2015, there were approximately 12.44 million Americans older than age 40 who were blind or visually impaired. By 2050, this number is projected to increase by 118%, challenging the lives of more than 27 million adults ages 40 and older. According to the National Eye Institute’s strategic plan, Vision for the Future 2021– 2025, “Vision loss and blindness are a leading cause of disability in the United States. The public health and economic impacts are enormous, particularly when considering associated problems such as lost productivity, social isolation, and acceleration of dementia. There are often significant barriers to accessibility of vision care for high-risk groups such as elderly people … communities of color, and those in rural or urban underserved communities.” Although 7.3% of older Americans in the United States report blindness or low vision, there is a higher prevalence of vision loss reported among women, certain ethnic groups, and adults ages 80 and older. Recognizing that the prevalence of vision loss varies significantly dependent upon geographic, demographic, and other factors, VisionServe Alliance and The Ohio State University College of Optometry recently partnered on the Big Data Report Project.

‘We have limited resources to address public health initiatives when considering things like vision.’

The data sets analyzed are from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The resulting national and state Big Data Report briefings identify the complexities of vision loss and are the only studies that analyze statewide data to comprehensively describe Americans ages 65 and older who are blind or have low vision. Why is this so important? Dean VanNasdale, associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry explained, “We have limited resources to address public health initiatives when considering things like vision. Determining where the most immediate needs are turns out to be very helpful, so you can start to direct scarce resources to groups that could benefit the most.” Significant Impact of Blindness and Vision Loss Blindness and low vision profoundly affect older people and those who care for and about them. Vision loss makes everyday activities such as climbing stairs, crossing the street, driving a car, riding a bus, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, paying bills, and identifying prescribed medications difficult or impossible. Falls or a fear of falling may further compromise safety and independence. Blindness and low vision can cause isolation and lead to

anxiety and depression, forcing people to stay home when they would rather be with family and friends or connecting with others facing similar struggles.

As of 2017, only 4.3% Of eligible adults received vision rehabilitation services.

Many older adults with blindness and low vision have reduced education levels and income. Thirty-seven percent of older adults with vision loss have annual incomes of less than $20,000, with many living below the poverty level.

(continued on next page)

Page 6 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

Information The Reality of Aging and Vision Loss in America (continued from previous page)

(continued from page 5) Healthy Minds for Life way around. It’s still a promising line of research, however. At least one research group has reported that people who had surgery to remove cataracts were 30 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those whose cataracts when untreated. Regardless of whether vision loss contributes directly to cognitive impairment, it’s still a critically important concern for many older adults. Our vision, hearing, touch, and sense of smell are our windows on the world. Any loss of these precious sensory functions can lead to decreases in the quality of our lives, our enjoyment of activities, our social interactions, and possibly, our cognitive abilities. For all these reasons, early detection and treatment of sensory loss is critically important. To learn more about the Precision Aging Network, visit our website at https:// If you’d like to hear more about our studies, or if you’d be interested in participating, send us an email at healthymindsforlife@email. We’ll tell you about some great opportunities to get involved. I’ll look forward to hearing from you! 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.

Nationally, the annual financial burden of major adult visual disorders is more than $35 billion ($16.2 billion in direct medical costs, $11.1 billion in other direct costs, and $8 billion in productivity losses), with an annual government budget impact of $13.7 billion. Vision Rehabilitation Strategies Research confirms that people with vision loss are less likely to access routine medical care and eye care. But when they do, once vision correction, vision surgeries and other medical interventions achieve maximum results, the next level of intervention—Vision Rehabilitation—can vastly improve safety, independence and quality of life. A growing network of public and private agencies provides vision rehabilitation services to support communication (including assistive technology for smartphones and computers), independent living skills (personal and medical care and medication management), travel and mobility skills, adaptive equipment, self-advocacy and more. Most vision rehabilitation services involve eye reports or low vision evaluations from a referring physician. Although most adults with vision loss would benefit significantly from vision rehabilitation services, as of 2017, only 4.3% of eligible adults received them. In addition to facilitating aging in place, vision evaluation and rehabilitation can eliminate or delay the need for institutionalization and its attendant economic burden.

Crafting a timely and efficient response to the varied health and rehabilitation needs of older people with blindness and low vision requires thoughtful, innovative and seamlessly integrated strategies on multiple fronts, including but not limited to eye care providers, the aging network, public health, transportation, housing agencies and more. As America’s older population increases, so does the urgent need to reframe aging and vision loss so that everyone who needs vision rehabilitation services can understand the value of these life- changing services and access them. For more information about Vision Rehabilitation resources and services, contact VisionServe Alliance at ______________________________________ John Crews, DPA, is senior data scientist for VisionServe Alliance. He retired from the CDC, where he was lead scientist in the Disability and Health Branch in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and later senior scientist with the Vision Health Initiative in the Division of Diabetes Translation.

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 7

Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Corner

Pima Council on Aging

July 2023 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 Medicare Advantage plan comparison spreadsheets for Pima County Medicare beneficiaries.

In-Person Location

Wednesday 12 – 3pm Day/Time


Virtual (Zoom)

PCOA The Katie 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716 Murphy-Wilmot Library 530 N. Wilmot Dr. Tucson, AZ 85711

July 12

Virtual (Zoom)

In-Person Only

July 26

Wednesday 2 – 5pm

For additional presentation dates, go to or call PCOA SHIP at (520) 546-2011

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

Page 8 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

Medicare Corner

Medicare Coverage and COVID-19

Bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card with you to your vaccination appointment, even if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you do not have your card on you, your vaccine provider may ask you for your Social Security number so that they can look up your Medicare information. Medicare covers certain monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 for some people. You owe no cost-sharing (deducible, coinsurance, or copay) for covered treatments. Inpatient and outpatient treatment COVID-19 treatments Monoclonal antibodies Medicare Part A covers medications you receive as a hospital inpatient. Medicare Part B covers medications you get from a health care provider as an injection or infusion. An example of an injected medication is Remdesivir. You may owe cost-sharing (deductible, coinsurance, or copay) for these treatments. Medicare Advantage Plans also cover these treatments. Contact your plan to learn more about costs. Prescription drugs Paxlovid is a medication used to treat COVID-19 that is available at the pharmacy. The government has paid for a certain amount of Paxlovid. While the supply of Paxlovid from the government lasts, you pay no cost-sharing. After the supply has been used, Part D covers Paxlovid. Paxlovid may be on your plan’s list of covered drugs, or you may have to ask your plan to make an exception

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023. This may affect your Medicare coverage for some services. Here is what to expect as of May 11, 2023. COVID-19 testing Original Medicare does not cover over- the-counter at-home tests as of May 11, 2023. Original Medicare does cover two other kinds of COVID-19 tests when the test is ordered by a physician or other health care practitioner. The two kinds of covered tests are PCR tests (which identify genetic material) and antigen tests (which are often called rapid tests). There is no out-of-pocket cost to you. Medicare Advantage Plans must cover COVID-19 tests. However, there may be out-of-pocket costs as of May 11, 2023. Contact your plan to learn more about costs. Medicare Advantage Plans may also continue to cover over-the-counter at-home tests at no cost. Contact your plan to learn if this supplemental benefit is offered, and how to access it. COVID-19 vaccine Original Medicare Part B covers COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, regardless of whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. You pay nothing for the vaccine or boosters. Health officials recommend the COVID-19 vaccine and timely booster shots for maximum protection against the virus. Speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

and cover the drug. You may owe cost- sharing (deductible, coinsurance, or copay). Telehealth benefits Until December 31, 2024 , Medicare covers telehealth visits whether you:

o Live in a rural or urban area o Get the services at home or in health care settings

Medicare covers hospital and doctors’ office visits, mental health counseling, and other visits via telehealth. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, it must cover telehealth services as well. Contact your plan to learn about costs and coverage. After December 31, 2024 , coverage for telehealth benefits may be more limited. Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at (520) 546-2011 if you need help understanding what Medicare covers and how to access care. Covid Scams If you are receiving COVID-19 test kits in the mail that you did not order, contact your Senior Medicare Patrol at (520) 546-2011. This document was supported, in part, by grant number 90SATC0002 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. [May 2023]

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 9

Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information

10 Ways To Protect Your Personal Information By Jack Burns, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in AZ

compromises one account, they can’t access other accounts.

4. Never give your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited call or message, and never post it on social media. 5. Shred paper documents that contain personal information, like your name, birth date, and Social Security number. 6. Protect your mobile device from unauthorized access by securing it with a PIN, adding a fingerprinting feature, or using facial recognition. You can also add a password and adjust the time before your screen automatically locks. 7. Regularly check your financial accounts for suspicious transactions. 8. Avoid internet threats by installing and maintaining strong anti-virus software on all your devices— including your mobile device and personal computer. Use a virtual private network (VPN) to stay safe on public Wi-Fi. Do not perform certain activities that involve sensitive data, like online shopping and banking, on public Wi-Fi networks. 9. Protect yourself on social media by customizing your security settings and deleting accounts you no longer use. Also, double-check suspicious messages from your

contacts, as hackers may create fake accounts of people you know.

10. Never click on any link sent via

unsolicited email or text message— type in the web address yourself. Only provide information on secure websites.

Identity theft affects millions of people each year and can cause serious harm. Protect yourself by securing your personal information, understanding the threat of identity theft, and exercising caution. Here are 10 things you can start doing now to protect yourself and your loved ones from identity theft: 1. Protect your Social Security number by keeping your Social Security card in a safe place at home. Don’t carry it with you or provide your number unnecessarily. 2. Be careful when you speak with unknown callers. Scammers may mislead you by using legitimate phone numbers or the real names of officials. If they threaten you or make you feel uneasy, hang up. 3. Create strong, unique passwords so others can’t easily access your accounts. Use different passwords for different accounts so if a hacker

We encourage you to create your own personal my Social Security account to track your earnings record. For more information, please read our publication, Protecting Personal Information, at Protecting_Personal_Information.pdf. Contact us if you see suspicious work activity on your record–you could be a victim of identity theft. Please share this information with your family and friends.

Page 10 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging

Rights & Benefits Information ALTCS Workshop

Defend Against Scammers Who Target Your Social Security Benefits By Jack Burns, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in AZ Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears. The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams and to ignore suspicious calls and emails. One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents or other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number (SSN) is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. Here are three things you should do: • Hang up right away or do not reply to the email. • Never give personal information or payment of any kind. • Report the scam at to immediately notify the law enforcement team in our Office of the Inspector General. You should continue to remain vigilant if you receive a phone call from someone who claims there’s a problem with your SSN or your benefits. If you owe money to us, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing. There are a few ways you can identify a scam call or email. Remember that we will never: • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee. • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment. • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card. • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security- related problem. • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email. If you do not have ongoing business with our agency, it is unlikely we will contact you. Again, if you get a suspicious call claiming to be from us or law enforcement about Social Security, you should hang up and report it right away to our Office of the Inspector General at

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

Please join the ALTCS Presentation on Zoom from your computer, tablet, or phone. Topic: ALTCS Workshop Time: July 13, 2:30 p.m. MST

The ALTCS workshop is held every month on the Second Thursday. Participants who would prefer in-person are invited to register for our August training held on Thursday, August 10, 2023 .

To register , go to: , or call Donna DeLeon at (520) 305-3450.

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 11

Pima Council on Aging

Information 8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Vision

As you get older, your risk for some eye diseases may increase. But there’s a lot you can do to keep your eyes healthy — and it all starts with taking care of your overall health. Set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing your best with these 8 tips!

1.Find an eye doctor you trust. Many eye diseases don’t have any early symptoms, so you could have a problem and not know it. The good news is that an eye doctor can help you stay on top of your eye health! Find an eye doctor you trust by asking friends and family if they like their doctor. You can also check with your health insurance plan to find eye doctors near you. 2.Ask how often you need a dilated eye exam. Getting a dilated eye exam is the single best thing you can do for your eye health. It’s the only way to find eye diseases early, when they’re easier to treat — and before they cause vision loss. Your eye doctor will decide how often you need an exam based on your risk for eye diseases. Ask your eye doctor what’s right for you.

6.Make a habit of wearing your sunglasses — even on cloudy days. You know the sun’s UV rays can harm your skin, but did you know the same goes for your eyes? It’s true. But wearing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation can protect your eyes and lower your risk for cataracts. So be sure to add sunglasses to your must-have list before you leave the house. Sunglasses? Check! Healthy eyes? Check! 7.Stay on top of long-term health conditions — like diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure can increase your risk for some eye diseases, like glaucoma. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, ask your doctor about steps you can take to manage your condition and lower your risk of vision loss.

4. Get your family talking… about eye health history! Some eye diseases — like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration — can run in families. While it may not be the most exciting topic of conversation, talking about your family health history can help everyone stay healthy. The next time you’re chatting with relatives, ask if anyone knows about eye problems in your family. Be sure to share what you learn with your eye doctor to see if you need to take steps to lower your risk. 5.Step up your healthy eating game. Eating healthy foods helps prevent health conditions — like diabetes or high blood pressure — that can put you at risk for eye problems. Eat right for your sight by adding more eye-healthy foods to your plate! Try dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. And pick up some fish high in omega-3 fatty acids like halibut, salmon, and tuna.

3.Add more movement to your day. Physical activity can lower your risk for health conditions that can affect your vision, like diabetes and high blood pressure. And bonus: it can help you feel your best. If you have trouble finding time for physical activity (normal!), try building it into other activities. Walk around while you’re on the phone, do push-ups or stretch while you watch TV, dance while you’re doing chores. Anything that gets your heart pumping counts!

8. If you smoke, make a quit plan. Quitting smoking is good for almost every part of your body, including your eyes! That’s right — kicking the habit will help lower your risk for eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s possible — and a quit plan can help. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free support.

Page 12 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging


Free training for informal, nonpaid family caregivers Caregiving Essentials: First Steps Training Schedule 2023

Fri., July 14 Tue., Aug. 15 Thur., Sept. 28

Wed., Oct. 18 Fri., Nov. 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register on Eventbrite: or call Pima Council on Aging, (520) 790-7573 ext. 1750;

For questions, call 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. This training does not provide certification or CEU’s for employment.

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 13

Pima Council on Aging


PCOA CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS – JULY Four are currently held by Zoom and seven are held in person

Participation in the groups can be in person (7 groups), by telephone or by computer/tablet/smartphone w/ 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. 7/13, 2nd Thursday , 1–2:30pm (East) In Person 7/17, 3rd Monday , 1–2:30 pm (Midtown) In Person 7/18, 3rd Tuesday , 10–11:30am (North) In Person 7/20, 3rd Thursday , 1:30–3pm Virtual ON ZOOM 7/24, 4th Monday , 11am–12:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 7/25, 4th Tuesday , 9–10:30am (Southwest) 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, 7/3, 1st Monday , 1–2:30pm (East) In Person 7/5, 1st Wednesday , 12–1:30pm (Oro Valley) In Person (RESCHEDULED FROM JULY 4TH) 7/6, 1st Thursday, 1–2:30pm Virtual ON ZOOM 7/10, 2nd Monday , 1–2:30pm (Green Valley) In Person 7/11, 2nd Tuesday , 5:30–7pm Virtual ON ZOOM


“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” — John Lubbock

*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,

Page 14 | July 2023, Never Too Late

Pima Council on Aging


By Kelley Hansen, Aging and Caregiving Specialist Healthy Vision Eyes are not just the window into our souls, but a glimpse into our health. Eye changes can signal vision problems, stress, tiredness, diabetes, or even retinal detachment. Caregivers tend to disregard these changes, but vision loss can cause communication barriers. Your loved one depends on you to meet their needs and if you are not taking care of yourself first who will? There are many things you can do as a caregiver to maintain healthy eyes. 1. Eye Exams You may wonder when you have time to see an optometrist, but making time is important. Comprehensive dilated eyes are the only way to detect the early stages of eye diseases. While Medicare does not cover routine eye exams, eyeglasses, or contact lenses, you may be covered for vision coverage under different plans. 2. Sleep Lack of sleep can affect your eyes because your eyes need relaxation and rest. Also, when eyes rest, they lubricate and clean out irritants. One way to get needed sleep is to arrange respite or in-home help. 3. Healthy Diet Ensure that your care recipient and you are eating nutritious foods. Research has shown that diets rich in fruits, vegetables (mainly dark leafy

greens), and fish oils (omega-3) play an important role in eye health. 4. Protective Eyewear Protective wear from sun exposure can help reduce the chances of cataracts and age-related muscular degeneration. Find yourself a great pair of sunglasses, treat yourself. 5. Weight Carrying extra weight is linked to health risks such as diabetes and glaucoma which can cause vision loss. Managing weight and blood sugar levels helps your eyes. 6. Physical Activity Going for a walk is a great way for caregivers to release stress, but it also increases blood circulation and oxygenation for the eyes. 7. Genetics Caregivers learn about their family history when it comes to dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, but have you looked into the family history when it comes to your eyes? This can

help your eye doctor plan necessary preventative measures to maintain eye health. 8. Screen Time Caregivers spend many hours on their phones, computers, and tablets due to research, scheduling appointments, and resources. This can cause eye strain. Remember to take breaks often and keep the screens 20-24 inches away from your eyes. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. As we age, our vision changes in typical ways including reducing the ability to see up close, having trouble distinguishing some colors, and needing more time to adjust to changing levels of light. Implementing these healthy habits can protect both your vision and your lifestyle. If you need help with vision resources, please reach out to PCOA’s Helpline (520) 790-7262 for resources that include low-cost vision care and exams, vision loss support groups, and vision loss technology.

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 15

Pima Council on Aging

PCOA Community Lunch Program

Do You Know... • Someone who could benefit from a lunch program that also provides an opportunity to make new friends? Let’s face it, eating alone, at home, is no fun. • These programs 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. • That these 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, and the City of Tucson Parks & Recreation Department. Have Lunch and Make a Friend

Check it out here: meals-nutrition.html/ Click on “View Monthly Menu” This Month’s Menu


Ajo Community

290 W. Fifth St., Ajo 85321

(520) 387-5040 (520) 791-4353 (520) 791-4070 (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 101 W. Irvington Rd., Tucson 85714 1390 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson 85705 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd., Tucson 85705

El Pueblo Neighborhood Center El Rio Neighborhood Center

Ellie Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center **

Freedom Recreation Center

5000 E. 29th St., Tucson 85711 2160 N. 6th Ave., Tucson 85705

Donna Liggins Center

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

Posada Life Community Center Quincie Douglas Senior Center

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.

Page 16 | July 2023, Never Too Late

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: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays • Randolph Recreation Center, 200 S. Alvernon Way, Bldg. 1 , 9–10 am • El Rio Center, 1390 W. Speedway Blvd. , 11am–12 pm • Clements Regional Ctr., Fitness Center , 8155 E. Poinciana Dr. , 8:30–9:30 am • Udall Park, Carol West Senior Center, 7222 E. Tanque Verde Rd. , 11 am–12 pm • The Katie , 600 S. Country Club, and Remote , 10:30–11:30 Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite (located on the PCOA homepage), Class size is limited. For assistance, call us at (520) 305-3410. • Tucson Estates (TENHN), 5900 W. Western Way Circle , 10:30–11:30 am Mondays – Recreation Hall, Wednesdays & Fridays – Multi-Purpose Hall Contribution: $36 per person/per month

A Matter of Balance®

Healthy Living with Chronic Pain®

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.

Picture Rocks Community Center 5615 N. Sanders Rd. Mon., Wed., Fri., 11:45 am–12:45 pm Drexel Heights Community Center 5220 S. San Joaquin Ave. Mon., Wed., Fri., 12–1 pm Ellie Towne/Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd. Mon., Wed., Fri., 9:30–10:30 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.

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

July 2023, Never Too Late | Page 17

Pima Council on Aging

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36

Made with FlippingBook - Share PDF online