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December 2014/January 2015

No Excuses for Ignoring Exercise


BY ELLEN SCHMEDING
DIRECTOR, AGING & INDEPENDENCE SERVICES

I wanted to call the prohink you cant exercise?


gram a club so that everyNo New Years resoluone would feel included,
tion for you...Youre too
Vickie says.
old, too sore, too sick, too
Shay McKelvey, an exertroubled? Dont tell that to
cise physiologist and regisVickie Velasco, 76. The cretered nurse, researched poator of the Feeling Fit Clubs
tential exercises and helped
in 1999 now often struggles
create the curriculum. Vickfor every breath with severe
ie and gerontologist Kelly
emphysema, but that doesnt
Ferrin took the idea out into
stop her from leading two
the community. They started
clubs twice each week. When
with six classes; now there
she cant catch her breath, V ICKIE V ELASCO , WHO SUFFERS
are 28 at 23 locations.
WITH EMPHYSEMA AND WEARS AN
she pauses long enough to
Vickie saw the vision for
OXYGEN BACKPACK, STILL TEACHES
put oxygen on her back and FEELING FIT CLUBS AT TWO SITES
a fitness program that would
reach the physiological,
the cannula in her nose, then TWICE A WEEK, INCLUDING NEIGHpsychological and social
she revvs up her class again. BORHOOD HOUSE (SHOWN HERE).
needs of older adults, says
I dont let my condition
define me and I tell my participants the same thing, Gretchen Vurbeff, the Feeling Fit Club programs exercise physiologist. Her warm and passionate personality
she says.
Feeling Fit Clubs intially targeted people who would really connects with seniors as she talks about the benefits
otherwise not exercise and who were at risk of acute of the Feeling Fit Club.
After retiring from AIS in 2003, Vickie was still comhealth problems. The program has expanded to include
all ability levels. The program focuses on flexibility, mitted to the success of the program and has continued
strength, balance and endurance. The goal is to help older teaching.
adults maintain their functioning and remain indepenDuring a recent class at the Neighborhood House,
dent. All moves can be performed from a seated position, Vickie slips a music CD into her portable player, helps
but participants are urged to stand for most of the class. participants get the right weights and stretch bands for their
Vickie supervised the Health Promotion Unit for AIS
(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
when she and others on a task force created the clubs.

(CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE)


ability and starts motivating: This will do you good, get
your heart going, get your circulation going...
She delights when one man who had been sitting finally
stands up and follows her balance exercises. She knows all
the participants well and praises their accomplishments,
sometimes using the fluent Spanish she learned from five
years in the Peace Corps in Central and South America.
Despite her challenges to breathe at points, Vickie keeps
the mood upbeat and positive. She has a wholehearted
laugh that gets everyone smiling and laughing with her.
Ill make a fool of myself just to keep them involved,
she says. I growl and they growl back. If theyre having
fun, they dont notice that theyre exercising.
Not long ago, Vickie cut her classload in half because
of her condition; Ive been having more and more episodes where I get clogged up. She gave up working with
a couple of her long-time Feeling Fit Clubs, including
one of the original six groups, which deeply saddened
her. Each club thanked her with a well-attended party to
acknowledge how much she had meant to them.
Vickie is realistic about her situation, but remains
spunky as one class participant called her. Never
underestimate the will of the human spirit, Vickie says.
At the end of her Neighborhood House class, she asks
the attendees to close their eyes and relax:
What a blessing it is to be alive today, she says to them.
We have no guarantees, but were here today. Thank you
for today; its a blessing. Were all here together; thats
another blessing.
Ive been sick and thought about not exercising today,
but I thought of each of you. Even when you dont feel
good, you still come in here. Everyone in here has physical
issues but you still fight on. It makes you stronger. Dont
let anything stop you; thats a blessing, too.

JOIN A LOCAL FEELING FIT CLUB

ou can be part of the Feeling Fit phenomenon! The


clubs offer social interaction and build self-esteem
in a relaxed, non-threatening environment. Participants
say they have better balance, greater strength and flexibility, enhanced sleep, improved mood, better digestion,
more relief from arthritis and more resistance to chronic
illnesses. To join a class near you, call (858) 495-5500,
ext. 3 and leave your name, number and address.
The Feeling Fit Club is also broadcast on County Television Network at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Cox Ch. 19 or 24;
Time Warner Ch. 85 and Uverse Ch. 99 and scroll.

ONLINE SEMINARS FOR CAREGIVERS

series of live streaming seminars about caring for


loved ones are offered free by the San Diego Caregiver Coalition at noon on selected Fridays. These webinars benefit adult children of aging parents, caregiving
spouses and professionals in the field of health and aging.
Each interactive seminar lasts half an hour. All you need
to participate is Internet access and email:
Dec. 5: Healing Through the Holidays with Lydia
Lombardi from Vitas Healthcare. Dont let the challenges
of caregiving prevent you and your loved ones from
enjoying the special times this season offers.
Dec. 12: How Does the Medi-Cal Waiver Apply to
You? with Bill Mathis of Always Best Care. These
waivers help provide medical coverage to individuals
who may not otherwise be eligible under Medicaid rules.
Can this help you and your family?
To register, visit www.caregivercoalitionsd.org, or, for
questions, email martin.dare@sdcounty.ca.gov.

JIMBOS FUNDRAISER FOR MOM

o benefit the More on the Menu (MOM) program, all


five of the Jimbos...Naturally! stores will be asking
customers if theyd like to donate to MOM to provide fresh
produce to homebound seniors. This holiday campaign
will run through mid-December. To learn more about
MOM, visit: GiveToMOM.org.

NEW FOOD PROGRAM IN NORTH COUNTY

enior Connections is a six-month pilot program of Interfaith Community Services and Dreams for Change
to provide food, resources and socialization for at-risk
isolated seniors in North County.
Senior Connections offers once-a-week hot meal choices
via a gourmet food truck for $2 at four different locations,
along with a speaker and social service assistance. Additional program fees are being covered by the Rancho
Santa Fe Foundation.
The lunches are offered:
Mondays at noon: Vista Village Mobile Home Park,
1506 Oak Dr., Vista 92084
Tuesdays at noon: San Marcos Lutheran Church, 3419
Grand Ave., San Marcos 92078
Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.: St. Francis of Assisi, 525
W. Vista Way, Vista 92083
Thursdays at noon: El Dorado Mobile Home Park,
1515 Capalina Rd., San Marcos 92069.
For details, call (760) 489-6380, ext. 220.

Honoring
RSVP: LEAD WITH EXPERIENCE
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

REUBEN H. FLEET SCIENCE CENTER

Todd Chilton, nominated by


John Green, administrator with
the CHP Oceanside Senior Volunteer Patrol, is the RSVP volunteer of the month. Todd joined
the California Highway Patrol
Senior Volunteer Program in
2005 and was later promoted
to the volunteer position of sergeant with the responsibilities
of collecting, compiling and
reporting the number of hours
TODD CHILTON
served by all of the senior volunteers of this command. His assignment is an exacting
number-crunching endeavor. His experience as a business administrator has been invaluable. He has to adjust
to the varying styles of handwriting and spends hours
compiling the monthly and quarterly reports. He has been
very prompt in meeting the reporting requirements for
both the CHP Border Division and RSVP.
Todd supervises eight volunteers who are part of his
Emergency Call-out team. In the event of a regional/
national emergency in which the services of the CHP
volunteers are needed, Todd is responsible for contacting his team members and coordinating their efforts as
required by the CHP Border Division staff. Todd also
performs his regularly scheduled assignments in support
of the field officers. Todd has performed his duties in a
professional manner and has earned the trust and confidence of his peers and the command, says John Green.
In recognition of his outstanding volunteer work, the
Oceanside CHP Senior Volunteer Program awarded Todd
the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award this past February.
Todd also volunteers with the Vista Fire Department.
His duties involve serving four daily shifts plus a training day each month. Besides volunteering on his regular
service days, Todd also takes on opportunities to serve at
special events during the month as time permits.
Congratulations, Todd; your dedication to volunteering has made a difference in the San Diego community.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is a nonprofit museum located in Balboa Park and featuring the worlds
first IMAX Dome theater, with more than 100 hands-on
science exhibits and entertaining experiences for visitors of all ages. The mission of the Fleet Science Center
is to inspire life-long learning by furthering the public
understanding and enjoyment of science and technology.
Fleet volunteers play a key role in meeting the centers
mission by interacting with the visitors and creating a
lasting impact on the visitors experience at the Fleet.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center volunteers are enthusiastic, service-minded individuals who support the
centers mission to encourage the enjoyment of science
and technology.
There are a variety of valuable volunteer opportunities
at the Fleet, from Museum Ambassadors who provide
a friendly and welcoming experience to Gallery Facilitators who teach science in the exhibit galleries. Fleet
volunteers can set
their own schedule. For information regarding
volunteering at
Reuben H. Fleet
Science Center,
contact RSVP at REUBEN H. FLEET SCIENCE CENTER
(858) 505-6399.

DATE DELAY FOR RECOGNITION EVENT


The Recognition Celebration for volunteer service
performed during 2014 will be held later in 2015 than
previous celebrations. It will be later than the usual April
May timeframe because of approval and finalization delays in the federal budget, which delays the appropriation
for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program funding.
The RSVP program cannot commit funding until actual
funds are appropriated by the federal government. We
look forward to celebrating your wonderful service with
you as soon as possible.

NAVY VETERAN DONALD GRINTER TALKS WITH SUPERVISOR BILL HORN, ASSISTANT COUNTY CAO DON STEUER

(LEFT) AND HHSA DIRECTOR NICK MACCHIONE ABOUT


THE NEEDS OF VETERANS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY DURING
A RECENT MEETING OF COUNTY DEPARTMENTS THAT AID
VETERANS. THE GOAL WAS TO IDENTIFY GAPS IN SERVICE
AND BRAINSTORM WAYS TO STREAMLINE AND IMPROVE
RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

SIGN UP FOR HEALTHIER LIVING CLASSES

he County coordinates interactive and goal-oriented


workshops called Healthier Living for people with
chronic health conditions. Caregivers are also welcome
to attend. Workshops are held once a week for six weeks:
Jan. 7 through Feb. 11 (Wednesdays) from 10 a.m.
to 12:30 p.m. at the Poway Library Community Room,
13137 Poway Rd., Poway 92064.
(Focus on diabetes) Jan. 9 through Feb. 13 (Fridays)
from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Norman Park Center, 270
F St., Chula Vista 91910.
(Focus on diabetes) Feb. 6 through March 13 (Fridays) from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Park Avenue
Community Center, 210 Park Ave., Escondido 92025.
To register, contact Kyra Reinhold at kyra.reinhold@
sdcounty.ca.gov, or call (858) 495-5710.

SENIOR LEGISLATURE 2015 PRIORITIES

he volunteer California Senior Legislature (CSL) recommends legislation to benefit older adults. Here are
the CSLs top state and federal priorities for the new year:
Medication Labeling proposal would require all
prescribers to include the purpose of a medication in
prescriptions so the label may include that purpose,
unless the patient requests this information be omitted.
Personal Income Tax Voluntary Contribution
proposal would allow filers of corporate tax return
form 100 and partnership return form 565 to contribute
amounts in excess of their tax liability for the support
of the California Senior Legislature Fund.

Silver Alert Program would permanently delete the


repeal of the existing Silver Alert program.
California Death with Dignity Act would authorize
adult California residents who are mentally competent
and terminally ill to make a request and receive medication for the purpose of ending their lives in a humane
and dignified manner; provide immunity from civil or
criminal liability or professional disciplinary action to
any person, hospital or health care facility that complies
in good faith with the act.
Dementia Training proposal would require paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and hospital staff
to receive dementia training as part of their continuing
education.
Fall Risk Screening Education would require the
state Public Health Department to implement a fall-risk
screening education program aimed at health care providers and administrators; and require the department to
work with the California Medical Association to have
fall-risk reduction, fall-risk screenings, and assessments
made part of the continuing education for physicians.
Identity Theft proposal would impose a two-year
punishment enhancement for a felony conviction when
that crime is against a victim who is 65 or older.
Elder Friendly Courts proposal would require an
elder-friendly court to be established in each county.
Medi-Cal Personal Needs Allowance proposal
would increase the personal needs allowance from $35
to $80 per month and annually adjust this allowance by
the same percentage as the Consumer Price Index.
Alzheimer Disease Prevention and Early Intervention Program would require funds be made available,
or clarify that mental health services act funds may be
used, for programs that provide education, prevention,
and early intervention programs and services with respect
to Alzheimers disease.
The following were the top four federal proposals:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs proposal
would require the department to identify and acknowledge veterans who participated in weapons testing programs and special operations, and to dedicate services
specifically to assist those veterans.
Public Housing Priority for Senior Veterans proposal would give priority for public housing assistance to
eligible seniors who are honorably discharged veterans.
Elder Justice Act proposal requests full elder abuse
funding as quickly as possible and to appropriate $25
million in the Presidents 2015-16 fiscal year budget.
Comprehensive Drug Trial Act proposal requires
clinical drug and medical device trials regulated by the
FDA be conducted in a manner that eliminates upper age
limits for study inclusion and reduces the use of eligibility criteria that disproportionately affect older patients.

SEND IN YOUR ITEMS


This monthly calendar welcomes your
contributions. Just send items by the
10th of each month preceding the issue date to: Denise G. Nelesen, editor,
Aging & Independence Services, PO
Box 23217, San Diego, CA 921933217. Or you can e-mail to: denise.
nelesen@sdcounty.ca.gov.

DEC. 3, 10, 17
1-3 P.M.
Free Brain Fit classes will be held
at the San Diego Central Public
Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego
92101. Learn ways to boost your
brain health with gerontologist Judi
Bonilla. For details: (619) 742-3368.

DEC. 4, THURSDAY
5:30 TO 7:30 P.M.
Caregiving workshop will be held
at the St. James Lutheran Church,
866 Imperial Beach Blvd., Imperial
Beach 91932. RSVP to Southern
Caregiver Resources Center: (800)
827-1008.

DEC. 9, TUESDAY
1:30 TO 3 P.M.
Fun Apps for iPhone or iPad will
be presented at the Lawrence Family
Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Dr., UTC area. Cost is $10.
For more information or to RSVP,
contact Melanie at (858) 362-1141.

DEC. 13, SATURDAY


9:30 TO 11:30 A.M.
The Seniors Computer Group of
San Diego meets every Saturday at
Wesley Palms, 2404 Loring St., San

Diego 92109. Visitors are always


welcome. For additional information,
visit the website: www.scgsd.org or
email: Tom Sprague at tspraguepr@
aol.com.

DEC. 17, WEDNESDAY


6 TO 7 P.M.
Free Gentle Chair Yoga for individuals with limited mobility is held the
first and third Wednesday of each
month at the Scripps Memorial
Hospital Encinitas, Rehabilitation
Center gymnasium, 354 Santa Fe Dr.,
Encinitas 92024. To RSVP, contact
Nancy Coleman at (760) 633-7417.

DEC. 31, WEDNESDAY


NOON
New Years celebration with the
Bob Constantine Band will be held
at the College Avenue Center, 4855
College Ave., San Diego 92115.
Suggested luncheon donation of $4
for seniors; $7 for others. For more
information, call (858) 637-3273 or
(858) 637-3217.

Sharp Rees-Stealy Helix, 1380 El


Cajon Blvd., Ste. 100, Classroom
A, El Cajon. Learn simple tricks
to make your diet healthier. RSVP:
(800) 827-4277 or visit www.sharp.
com/classes.

JAN. 21, WEDNESDAY


9:30 A.M. TO 3:30 P.M.
Planning Ahead: Crucial Conversations, a free workshop to help
families navigate end-of-life decisions, will be held at the Balboa Park
Club, 2150 Pan American Road West
in Balboa Park. Includes a panel of
physicians sharing their thoughts on
their own advance directives. RSVP
by Jan. 19 to (800) 827-4277 or visit
www.sharp.com/classes.

JAN. 29, THURSDAY


9:30 A.M. TO 2:15 P.M.

Support Our Community Seniors


Training and Tool Box of Resources
(SOCS Box) will be held at the San
Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic
Dr., San Marcos. The training assists
volunteers, caregivers and others
who visit older adults in their homes
JAN. 13, TUESDAY
and at care facilities. To RSVP or for
9:30 TO 11:30 A.M.
information: (800) 628-2880 or visit
Managing the Emotional Aspects www.PalomarHealth.org/classes.
of Caregiving will be presented by
Martha Ranon of Southern Caregiver
Resource Center at the Sharp Health ADVISORY COUNCIL
Plan, 8520 Tech Way, San Diego. The AIS Advisory Council will
RSVP: (800) 827-4277 or visit www. meet at noon Monday, Dec. 8, at
AIS, 5560 Overland Ave., Third
sharp.com/classes.
Floor, San Diego 92123. These
meetings are open to the public.

JAN. 15, THURSDAY


10:30 A.M. TO NOON

Shape Up in the New Year will


be presented by Sharp Registered
Dietitian Candy Cumming at the

CA SENIOR LEGISLATURE
The San Diego CSL meets at 10
a.m. on the second Monday of the
month at AIS.

WHEN YOU DONT KNOW


WHERE TO TURN,
TURN TO US.

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