Every person growing old faces concerns about health care, daily living help, driving, staying connected and becoming frail. Seniors look for ways to maintain their independence, dignity and right to choose – and primarily to age the way they want to.
Older Americans can vigorously promote and push for a better system of support. And each should develop a plan to age, one that focuses on living fully.
I recently met with legislators to discuss the needs of seniors. Many folks ages 55 and up attended the event – and they came armed with their agendas for change. It encourages me to see people become active and to voice concerns, no matter their age. I was surprised to learn that our elected officials really do have our backs. To express your needs, call your local representatives and let your voice be heard.
While the state government can help to a point, seniors must rely on other resources as their needs change.
Following is a list of resources for seniors, compiled by the Aging Council at Seniorcare.com.
• For those in pain or grieving the loss of a loved one, the website bodyawaregrieving.com offers tips for healing your health and your heart. The resource promotes intergenerational companionship and co-op choices that enable people of varying ages to interact and help one another.
• Visit the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Services at sccgov.org/sites/ssa/daas. The website links to a resource guide, “A Good Place to Start,” which promotes “a safe and independent lifestyle for seniors, dependent adults and the disabled through the delivery of protective services, quality nutrition and supportive in-home services.”
• The website freemedsupp- quotes.com provides free quotes on Medicare supplement plans and information on long-term care insurance, caregivers, leisure activities and private and government support. The site also includes a nursing home directory.
• Check out the Los Altos Senior Program by stopping by Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., or visiting losaltosca.gov/recreation/page/senior-program. The city sponsors a variety of programs and services that cater to seniors, including a wide range of classes, workshops and informative presentations, as well as opportunities to travel and volunteer.
• Take advantage of national resources such as United Way’s 211 phone service, the Area Agency on Aging and AAA, all of which can explain and help navigate complex scenarios that seniors may face.
• Local personal care training for family caregivers is available. Too often people are thrust into a caregiving situation and do not know where to start. Los Altos United Methodist Church sponsors a caregiver support group, and online help can be accessed at caregiversupportservices.org.
• Home delivery services are ubiquitous these days – for meals, house cleaners, home maintenance, pharmacies, transportation and other everyday needs. A simple Google search will produce hundreds of options.